Nyasa Times (10.02.12)
Aids Weekly Plus
The Malawi branch of the US-based Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Malawi’s Ministry of Health to collaborate on a new five-year program, which seeks to strengthen HIV-service delivery in Malawi. The program plans to implement activities in seven districts in Malawi’s Central West, Central East and North Zones through funding from CDC under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). EGPAF and its local partners plan to work closely with the CDC, Malawi’s Ministry of Health, and the Zonal Health Support and District Health Offices to implement health systems that will strengthen activities designed to improve service delivery for HIV/AIDS; tuberculosis (TB); malaria; maternal, newborn, and children’s health (MNCH); and other public health problems that have led to high mortality and morbidity rates for the country’s 14.4 million people.
Building on previous work of more than a decade, EGPAF has provided critical support and expertise to grow the capacity of the Ministry of Health’s health care systems and facilities and to increase access to comprehensive and integrated services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and HIV care and treatment for women, children, and families in Malawi. To date, EGPAF has reached nearly 600,000 women in the country with PMTCT services.
Although adult HIV prevalence in Malawi has decreased from 11.4 percent in 2004 to 10.6 percent in 2010, approximately 80,000 new infections still occur annually. In addition, the HIV epidemic influences TB rates in the country, where 68 percent of all TB patients are also HIV-infected.