MIAA’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Pirira Ndaferankhande
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi Interfaith AIDS Association (MIAA) on Tuesday expressed sadness over political instability currently prevailing in the country arguing that the trend is crashing peoples’s rights.
The grouping observed that the trend is negatively affecting access to health services by people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS particularly in the areas of accessing HIV Treatment and general maternal health services, especially in times of violence.
MIAA told the news conference in the capital Lilongwe that reports indicates that demonstrations are affecting its faithfuls accessing drugs.
The grouping therefore plans to hold national-wide prayers for bringing peace in the country.
Below is the full MIAA statement signed by its Acting Chief Executive Officer Pirira Ndaferankhande;
Current Political Instability Negatively Affecting Access to Health Services by People living with or affected by HIV and AIDS
The Malawi Interfaith AIDS Association (MIAA) has noted with great concern that the political instability currently prevailing in our country is negatively affecting access to health services by people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS particularly in the areas of accessing HIV Treatment and general maternal health services, especially in times of violence.
The sick and pregnant women are the most affected. For instance, in times of violence, the referral system is affected as Ambulance Services are either limited or completely hindered.
General transportation is also limited or completely hindered thereby PLHIV are unable to collect ART from health facilities, unable to buy necessary food that goes together with their HIV Treatment, and pregnant women are unable to access timelymaternal health services.
During thetime ofviolence, some shops are looted and sadly, some of these shops belong to people living with HIV who depend on the same to earn a living in order to get food and some basic needs.
Some reliable shops such as Pharmacies are either closed or worse still vandalized, negatively affecting access to medication by PLHIV, especially in times when they have been advised by the public hospitals and public health centers to buy their own medication.
Some people living with HIV rely on casual work to get money for transport and in times of violence, they are unable to access these opportunities. T
here have been cases where clients have been forced to return home on their way to health facilities for fear of violence and this has proved to be costly in terms of finding another transport to health facilities, but most importantly, it has disrupted consistent taking of medication, which is a health hazard.
While MIAA appreciates the fact that it is a Constitutional Right for any Malawian to hold demonstrations, MIAA is greatly concerned when such Demonstrations turn violent as it negatively affects access to health services by people living with or affected by HIV.
MIAA is reminding the public that access to health services and other services that contribute to the health and well-being of any person is also a human rights issue.
MIAA therefore calls upon Organizers of Demonstrations and all Government and Private Security Institutions to strictly put in place measures to ensure that such demonstrations do not turn violent so that the health of people living with or affected by HIV in the faith community is secured.
Acting Chief Executive Officer Pirira Ndaferankhande