More Malawians continue being diagnosed with HIV with the country registering 1000 new cases every week and over 50 000 every year.

Vice President for the Republic of Malawi, Khumbo Kachali disclosed this Saturday during this year’s National World AIDS day event that took place at Nsanje Secondary School in Nsanje.

The vice president, who is also Minister of Health, urged the infected to stop deliberately infecting others so that there are no new infections.

He also asked the infected to receive medical treatment as advised by experts condemning those that carelessly default medication.

“Malawians have to make collective efforts in order to get to zero new HIV infections, AIDS related deaths and discrimination which forms part of the theme for this year’s HIV and AIDS commemoration,” said the vice president.

Kachali also advised Malawians to desist from discriminating those infected in the communities so that those living positively should feel free to contribute to the national development.

The Minister of Health explained that the country has improved a lot especially in the area of HIV and AIDS with 80 precept of the population on ARTs being alive.

The Vice President said government is working tirelessly to encourage all pregnant mothers to follow prevention of mother to child transition so that the next generation gets to the three zeros.

He however, condemned some cultural practices that encourage the spread of HIV saying that they have to be stopped with immediate effort.

“Let us deny all harmful cultural practices like Kulowa Kufa, Chokolo and Kusasa fumbi which are common in our communities and adopt the practices like voluntary male circumcision.

“Male circumcision reduces the chance of contracting the virus by 60 per cent,” he said.

The Vice President then thanked all people who went for HIV Testing and Counselling and encouraged the rest to emulate them.

Kachali applauded different organisations which take part in helping the country fight the pandemic.

Speaking during a separate interview with the Malawi News Agency, Senior Chief Malemia said districts in the country continue to face more challenges to deal with HIV and AIDS issues because of inadequate funding.

“For instance, Nsanje hospital receives K14 million every month which caters for only 60 per cent with 40 per cent covering the population of our neighbouring Mozambique,” said the chief.

He emphasized that Malawi would really get to the zeros if it creates favourable conditions for the infected and affected.

“Government has to put more resources to HIV and AIDS activities so that everyone feels comfortable to adopt the zero environment,” said Malemia.

According to survey conducted in 2010, Malawi has an HIV prevalence rate of 10.6 percent.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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