Mulanje, January 25, 2019: Mulanje District Council Principal Nutrition, HIV and Aids Officer, Charles Lomoni has criticized non-governmental organizations working towards ending HIV and Aids in the district for being reluctant to work with the district’s coordinating structures.
Speaking during a District Aids Coordinating Committee (DACC) HIV and Aids review meeting on Monday, Lomoni said there are many HIV related projects in the district yet the prevalence rate remains high because there is lack of coordination amongst implementing partners.
“We are blessed with many NGOs here, yet the prevalence rate remains high at 20.6. This is because we are not working together as partners,” he said.
He further said lack of coordination has also contributed to the inactivity of DACC, which is an important committee in providing guidance, support and ensuring coordination on HIV and Aids.
“We have a lot of committees at district level but it seems this is the only committee that is not active mostly because of unwillingness by member organizations,” he said.
“As much as we know, some NGOs are only here for five years or less, we still need to know the interventions they are doing and their accomplishments so that at the end of the project we analyze their impact,” he added.
According to Lomoni, lack of stakeholder participation is also making it difficult to follow HIV cases on the ground.
“For example, we hear a lot of malpractices happening in tea estates and we have their representatives in this committee, yet we have not heard anything on that. So, we are failing to follow up on such reports and take needed action,” Lomoni explained.
He then proposed on the need for all stakeholders to formulate an integrated work plan through DACC to guide the district in its goal of reducing HIV and Aids.
“We have organizations like ONSE, Baylor, One Community and many more in the district but we don’t know what they are doing.
“With the integrated work plan however, we can use this forum to update each other on a monthly or quarterly basis on interventions we are doing so that everyone is up to speed with issues of HIV in our district. It is not only the responsibility of the council,” he concluded.