Saturday, August 15, 2009

Malawi: HIV/AIDS deaths decrease

Malawi's HIV/AIDS mortality rate is reported to have gone down as the African continent continues to fight the disease. This is good news for the southern African country which has of late seen the pandemic raise the number of orphans to about one million.


The HIV/AIDS deaths are said to have gone down by 80 percent according to the country’s Secretary for Nutrition, HIV/AIDS Mary Shawa.

Shawa revealed the decrease in the death rate during the launch of the HIV and AIDS workplace policy for Malawi Institute of Management (MIM) in Malawi’s Capital, Lilongwe.

She attributed the remarkable drop to robust HIV/AIDS workplace policies which have enabled workers in both government and private sector to understand the devastating impact of the pandemic.

“Government has encouraged every institution to have a workplace policy which aims at providing services in HIV prevention, impact mitigation, reintegration of the people living with HIV (PLHIV),” Shawa said.

According to Malawi’s Daily Times, the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is said to hover around 12 percent in a population of 13 million.

HIV deaths

The report further quoted Shawa as saying that, in the past 10 people died of HIV/AIDS every hour in the country but now mortality estimation reveals that two people are dying of HIV/Aids per hour.

Shawa said Malawi’s economy has operated at 65% due to HIV/AIDS related causes, adding that HIV/AIDS workplace policies play an important role to reduce deaths within the workplaces.

Malawi’s president Bingu Wa Mutharika said in June this year during the Candlelight memorial that the southern African country has intensified the war against Aids.

Mutharika said the country was providing Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ARVs) to those living with HIV adding that the provision of free ARVs was saving lives of many people.

The president also revealed that the country was making efforts to find a company to locally produce ARVs. Currently about 250,000 people are said to be on ARV’s in the country.

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