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Malawi on Course in HIV and AIDS Fight
Nyasa Times
by Rahim Kamwana-Mana
November 15, 2017

The Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Charles Mwansambo, says Malawi has made a remarkable progress in the achievement of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets.

The report released on the official opening of the 2017 Research and Best Practices Dissemination Conference at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe on Tuesday also indicates that the country has made strides in its fight against HIV/AIDS.

Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the conference, Mwansambo said the Government of Malawi bases its policies on evidence. He cited the conference as a forum where government's achievements would be shared through the report.

"Malawi has made progress in the figh of HIV and AIDS. As you can recall, since the disease was discovered [mid 1980s] up to now, Malawi is a shining country in fighting this disease as it is the first country to come out with these reports.

"Other countries have followed behind us," Mwansambo said.

Among other aspects, the report presented at the conference indicates that 10.6 per cent of Malawi's population aged between 15 and 64 years are infected with HIV and that 73 out of every 100 that are living with the virus are diagnosed.

The report further says 90 per cent of those diagnosed are on antiretroviral treatment (ART) and that of those on treatment, 91 per cent have their viral effect suppressed.

Board Chairperson for National AIDS Commission (NAC), Reverend Reynold Mangisa, said the report would assist to identify areas of success as well as those requiring improvement.

"This conference will help us to find out different areas where we have improved and also where to go forward.

"We hope that in our 90-90-90 target, we have made a significant progress and we hope at the end of the conference, we will be able to identify those areas," Mangisa said.

Among other objectives, the conference, which was organised by NAC, aimed at disseminating a 2017 Research and Best Practices report regarding the country's HIV interventions.

The report would also assist in identifying progress made and areas where the country needs to improve as it continues to fight against HIV and AIDS.

Although Malawi has done a lot in reducing transmission of the virus from mother to child (vertical transmission), there is still a gap in early diagnosis of HIV infection in infants to ensure their survival, according to officials.

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