Malawians with HIV cry for lives after 2012
Malawians who are HIV positive are crying for their lives following government’s failure to qualify for Round 10 of funds for HIV and Aids programmes from Global Fund. The Malawi Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (Manet Plus) has since issued a statement expressing fears for Malawians infected with HIV and Aids. “Where do our hopes lie? We must have been told what it is that went amiss in our bid. As a constituency of people living with HIV in Malawi, while commending government for putting our minds at rest, we still have fears for the period beyond 2012,” says a statement from Manet Plus.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria rejected Malawi’s request for funding which it submitted last year amounting to about K84billion (US$560million) to fund its national response towards the three diseases for a five year period from 2011 to 2016. Principal Secretary for HIV and AIDS and Nutrition in the Office of the President and Cabinet Mary Shawa last year assured people living with HIV and Aids that Malawi has funds to take them to 2012.
But people living with HIV and Aids say they see no hope after 2012 when government resources will have been finished.“It is a double blow for Malawi because it is not only a low-income country but also one of the hardest hit countries in the sub Saharan region with a national HIV prevalence rate of 12 percent,” the statement says. The statement further says, “If Malawi is not supported uncontrolled death crisis for those on ART and those waiting to be enrolled for treatment is eminent.”
The Coalition of Women Living with HIV and AIDS feels the development will have negative implications in the response to HIV and AIDS and the relevant infections. Coalition’s National Coordinator Stephen Iphani observed that with this development access to free anti-retroviral drugs (ARVS) which prolong lives of the infected will be greatly affected. “Whether we like it or not, the challenge will be immense. Already the country is experiencing acute shortage of drugs particularly Bactrim which people who are on ARV treatment take,” he said.
Malawi has about 255 000 people on ARV according to Head of HIV and Aids in the Ministry of Health Frank Chimbwandira who was quoted in the local press recently. Chimbwandira was also quoted that Malawi was hopeful to qualify to Round 11 of the Global Fund.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s) and not do necessarily reflect the views of the AfricaFiles' editors and network members. They are included in our material as a reflection of a diversity of views and a variety of issues. Material written specifically for AfricaFiles may be edited for length, clarity or inaccuracies.