By Chancy Namadzunda
Malawi Principal Secretary in the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS in the Office of President and Cabinet Edith Mkawa has called on fellow top gvernment officials and business tycoons to come out in the open on their HIV status.
Speaking in Lilongwe during the 2013 People Living with HIV (PLHIV) Annual Conference in the capital, Lilongwe Mkawa observed that efforts to fight the pandemic are being derailed because people who matter most in decision making are very silent on their status.
“Most of the times, we only find poor people standing on the public podium declaring their status while those holding influencial positions are always silent. What we want is that we need to have combined efforts, this is not only for the poor, but also the rich.
“Ironically, these are the ones who are going around spreading the virus, so all we are saying is that let them come out and role medels in this fight” she said
Currently, according to Mkawa, government is trying to find a viable strategy on how they can be distributing nutritious food to those living with the virus.
“Due to high levels of poverty, a lot of people who are on ART do not have enough food to supplement the treatment, so as government we are trying our best to helpthose on treatment with nutritious food,” she said.
Over 1.2 million people are projected to face acute food shortage this year,many of them are in the rural areas where the virus is spreading fast.