Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) in Malawi has announced a K14.9 billion (about $37.2m) support to two programmes that will provide additional support to the government to tackle HIV and Aids and scale up nutrition projects.

The new HIV prevention programme will support the government’s five– year HIV and Aids Strategic Plan 2011-2016 and help reduce new HIV infections by scaling up prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) with a special focus on male involvement, increasing HIV counselling and testing (HTC), especially among couples and increasing availability, access to and promotion of condoms.

The HIV prevention programme worth K13.6 billion (about $34m) will be implemented as part of a multi-donor programme of support for the delivery of the National HIV and Aids Strategic Plan through the National Aids Commission (NAC).

In a statement April 3 2013, DfID says it will also provide K1.3 billion (about $3.2m) to support the implementation of the national Nutrition Education and Communication Strategy (Necs), scale up therapeutic feeding of severe and acutely malnourished children and improve uptake of vitamins and minerals in the two districts of Mulanje and Nkhata Bay.

The nutrition support to the two districts will be implemented through Unicef.

The statement quotes head of DfID Malawi, Sarah Sanyahumbi as saying: “HIV remains a public health emergency and we are pleased to be able to help reduce new HIV infections. DfID’s support since 2009 has helped Malawi achieve phenomenal success in scaling up access to HIV testing and counselling.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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