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Lighthouse honours people on ARV therapy

Open access clinic for the care of HIV-related diseases and terminal illness palliative care support, Lighthouse Trust, on Saturday honoured clients who have been taking the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for over 10 years at the clinic.

Chief of Health Services, Charles Mwansambo, presided over the Open Day ceremony which took place at the Lighthouse Trust premises at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe.

Mwansambo said the fact that some patients have been living with HIV for over 10 years is evidence that it is possible to live a healthy life with the virus if one adheres to medical requirements.

He said responding to HIV requires concerted efforts from different stakeholders who include donors, the patients themselves and skilled healthcare workers who are usually in close contact with the patients.

“Without a good relationship between a health worker and a patient, all the efforts will be futile. A good relationship where a patient is looking forward to coming back to the hospital where a health worker is motivated by the progress the patient is making in regard to good health cannot be overemphasised,” Mwansambo said.

He added that HIV treatment adherence is important in making sure the virus is eradicated completely as demonstrated by the 90:90:90 strategy.

Lighthouse Executive Director, Sam Phiri, said in honouring the clients who have turned into partners for sticking with the clinic for 10 years or more, Lighthouse was also inclined to remember the fallen pioneers “who would have loved to see this Open Day event”.

“We remember the late Dr Martin Preus, late Chief Julio, late Mr Chisendera… We recognise the presence of the family members of those fallen pioneers and we believe you are satisfied that they left us a legacy that we will always cherish for as long as Lighthouse exists,” Phiri said.

The Open Day’s theme was ‘Robust and Deliberate Partnerships is Equal to Successful HIV Intervention’.

Different activities including planting trees in memory of pioneers who established Lighthouse Trust took place on the day.

Lighthouse is a World Health Organisation (WHO) Trust that works in close coordinat ion with the Ministry of Health to operate two integrated HIV testing, treatment and care clinics at KCH and Bwaila Hospital.

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