The Nkhata Bay District Health Office (DHO) has received a boost of K16.7 million worth of medical equipment and drugs courtesy of World Vision Malawi International.
The items are meant to complement the DHO’s efforts in the fight against the spread of HIV and consequently reducing the prevalence rate which is currently pegged at 10 percent.
Speaking after the donation on Tuesday Zonal Quality Assurance Manager for Wo r l d Vision Austin Chilembo bemoaned that despite the alarming statistics, there is great apathy towards HIV and AidsTesting and Counselling (HTC) among Nkhata Bay communities.
He, however, said that World Vision remains commi tted at helping government reach the 90’90’90 UNAIDS target in the fight against the pandemic.
“Our area of focus is testing, we want people to know their HIV status and get to decide to be on Anti-retroviral treatment, but we realise that all this can be accomplished if our hospitals are well stocked with necessary supplies,” explained Chilembo.
Asked on how they intend to ensure that the supplies are put to intended use, Chilembo said they have Citizens Voice and Action (CVA) forums which are empowered in tracking of public resources.
“We do not have 100 percent control over the equipment or drugs that we give to hospitals but through the CVAs members of the community are aware of what is due to them and hold their authorities accountable on anything that concerns them,” he said.
Some of the items donated include: humidity indicator cards, safety lancets, sample racks and gloves among others.
Apart from the drugs and equipment, World Vision has also facilitated a 28- day training of 20 health officers on the new HIV guidelines, to a tune of about K14 million.
The training aims at imparting knowledge in Medical Assistants and Senior Health Surveillance Assistants on the new strategies which hinge on testing and treating.
And speaking on behalf of the DHO Mwatikonda Mbendera thanked World Vision for the training, saying most of the health officers lack adequate capacity.
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