Written by  Alinafe Nyanyale, Mana

A five year Global Aids Interfaith Alliance (GAIA) project which is being implemented in Mulanje is set to prevent new infections among vulnerable children, adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in the district.


The project, dubbed "Ana Patsogolo," is being implemented in eight traditional authorities and 14 health facilities in the district.


Speaking during a District Child Protection Committee (DCPC) meeting over the weekend, GAIA Case Management Officer, Owen Mukhanda, said they are targeting children and AGYW living with HIV and AIDS to be on antiretroviral therapy (ART) programme.

"We want to monitor them by going to their households and meeting their care givers to ensure that they are adhering to the ART programme so that their viral load is reduced to a minimal level," he said.

He added that through the project, they will also provide school fees to secondary school students and school materials to both primary and secondary school children the organization will be working with.

"We will also be providing households with food to help children who have difficulties in swallowing medicine," she disclosed.

While concurring with what Mukhanda said, Network for Youth Development Project Manager, Chancy Mkandawire, stressed on the need to train care givers on how they could help their children take medicine.

“Most children especially babies and infants often have difficulties to take medicine and if no action is done, the purpose of the project will not be achieved," Mkandawire said.

On his part, Mulanje District Council Assistant Social Welfare Officer, John Taulo, advised the organisation to make sure that the food that will be distributed is healthy and well balanced.

He said, when it comes to distributing food items, a lot of organizations prefer distributing food items that are readily available like acidic drinks that brings problems to the lives of children.

"A well balance meal must be given to avoid problems that come due to the type of food items that is given to them,” Taulo said.

The "Ana Patsogolo" project started in October last year and has so far supported 1774 children with school fees and school materials.

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