Malawi Makes Progress in Tackling HIV/AIDS, Records Decline in Cases

NAC Combats Deadly Virus in Malawi, Says There is A Declining Rate (News Central TV)

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continue to be major health concerns worldwide. Almost half (19.6 million) of the 36.9 million individuals living with HIV in 2017—or more than half—live in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

The prevalence of disease in sub-Saharan Africa has slowed the region’s already glacial rate of growth, decreased life expectancy, increased the number of orphans, and led to the dissolution of communities and family structures. Some of the regions with the worst HIV effects are in eastern and southern Africa. As of 2018, there were about 6% of adults in eastern and southern Africa living with HIV, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, with women being more impacted than men.

Malawi, a low-income country in southeast Africa, has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates among adults—estimated at 9%—with about 38,000 people newly diagnosed with HIV in 2018.

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In order to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the nation, the government of Malawi formed the National AIDS Commission (NAC) in July 2001. 

With a mandate to provide leadership in planning, organising, coordinating, and creating standards and guidelines for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in Malawi, NAC serves as the coordinating organisation for all HIV/AIDS operations in that country. 

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy Framework, which supports the national health plan and the government’s objective to reduce poverty, guides the Commission’s activities. 

The framework’s overall objective is to decrease the prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted illnesses and enhance the lives of those who are HIV-positive and AIDS-affected. To achieve this, NAC;

NAC Combats Deadly Virus in Malawi, Says There is A Declining Rate (News Central TV)
  1. Manages and coordinates the implementation of government policies on HIV and AIDS.
  2. Liaises with relevant ministries as appropriate on all matters relating to HIV and AIDS in order to ensure that there are no legal, medical or regulatory barriers to information on HIV and AIDS.
  3. Ensures through advocacy, that all political, community, religious, and traditional leaders play a strong, sustained, and visible role in the prevention of HIV and AIDS.
  4. Develops and maintains an up-to-date information system and establishes a suitable mechanism for disseminating and utilising such information.
  5. Supervises monitors and evaluates progress and impact of HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support, and impact mitigation; and
  6. Develops and institutes guidelines for cooperation among the Commission, Government, and other organisations and agencies in Malawi.
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In light of these processes, the National Aids Commission (NAC) has said the HIV and AIDS prevalence rate is decreasing in the country.

NAC Project Coordinator Amidu Tung’ande said the decrease, among other factors, is necessitated by the fact that Malawians are now aware of how they can prevent the spread of the virus.

The NAC in Malawi says the country has confirmed the HIV-positive status of 1,012,135 people and placed 922,688 of those on anti-retroviral treatment.

According to NAC, the number of new HIV infections has reduced from around 56,500 in 2010 to around 15,000 at the end of 2022

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