ZOMBA-(MaraviPost)-Malawi is making progress in reducing HIV new infections amid Covid-19 pandemic that continues to claims lives.
However, the challenge remains on children’s new infections as mothers continue to pass the HIV virus to her baby despite being born without the virus.
Ministry of Health’s Director in department of HIV, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Rose Nyirenda told the 2021 HIV &AIDS Media workshop in Zomba on Tuesday, September 28 which Light House organised that there is great progress in the pandemic fight.
Nyirenda disclosed that HIV’ new infection has been reduced significantly from 55,000 in 2010 to 19,000 in 2020 representing 90%
She therefore targeting to reduced the infection to 11,000 in 2025 representing 95%.
Nyirenda however recognised increase of new infections in children attributing to lack of proper dosage easy for young ones.
The director also observed that Covid-19 has posed a great challenge on HIV patient not on ART saying are at risk for imminent deaths.
“Malawi has made a great progress in reducing new HIV infections pegged at 90% as of 2020. We still have a minor challenge on children who are currently at risk contracting the virus. However, government and its development partners are trying to bring proper dosage for children of any age as the current medication are bitter for young one,” she says.
Nyirenda therefore encouraged those living with the virus to be on proper ART to suppress the viral load saying weak body fails to fight Covid-19
Light House Executive Director Safari Mbewe recognised the role of the media in disseminating accurate information to bring hope in HIV fight.
Mbewe observes that inaccurate reporting pose threats to those living with the virus tend to abscond the treatment while putting their lives in danger.
At the end of the two day workshop participants drawn from print, electronic and online media houses were awarded with certificates.
Meclina Chirwa from Timveni Radio expressed gratitude over new knowledge and insights gotten out of the training on HIV/AIDS.
Globally about 37.7 million are living with the HIV, with 1.5 million infection that 680,000 died of the pandemic and 27.5 million people are accessing Antiretroviral Therapy (ARV) in 2020.
About 79.3 million people have been infected with HIV and 36.3 million people have died of AIDS-related illness since the start of the pandemic in early 1980s.
Currently, Malawi has 986, 559 people estimated to be living with HIV that 955, 232 are accessing ART and 825,538 are virally suppressed in 2020.