People of Nkhata Bay are dismayed with the government’s failure to provide them with routine viral load test facilities in the district so that they can easily prevent Aids related deaths.
This was said during a meeting organised by the National Association of People Living with HIV and Aids in Malawi (NAPHAM) in the district.
Napham said there are some hard to reach areas in the district which lack health facilities hence making them fail to know their health status.
“We urge the government to equip health facilities with routine viral load test services in the district so that we can prevent Aids related deaths. Some areas are hard to reach and they are far from health centres, there is a need of health facilities too so that we can fight against the HIV and Aids pandemic”, said the Napham district coordinator, Frederic Chawawa.
Frederic further said if the government does not take this issue into account, there will be a risk to a lot of people living in some remote areas to die with the virus because they do not know their viral load at a specific time.
“The main problem here is that viral testing is only done in Mzuzu, at Mzuzu Central Hospital, which is a big challenge to some people who are unable to access referral hospital”, said Frederic.
Napaham has been conducting awareness campaigns with the people living with HIV on access to routine viral load. But the situation is unpleasing because a lot of them cannot access health services in all health facilities in the district.
The National Association for People Living with HIV and AIDS in Malawi (NAPHAM) was established in 1993 by a small group of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) who observed that their needs were not being met. A membership organisation active in all 28 districts of Malawi, NAPHAM fights against stigma and discrimination, advocates for supportive environments for PLHIV, and facilitates localised support groups for those who are infected and directly affected by HIV and AIDS.