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UNV Doctors play key role in fight against HIV/AIDS

UN Volunteer Dr. Mubiala Ekwala Nicodeme (DRC), HIV Programme Supervisor for Malawi’s Northern Zone, uses a police boat to reach Likoma Island on Lake Malawi, thus ensuring this remote area is included in national efforts to improve and strengthen the health system and HIV prevention, treatment and care.  (UNV, 2011)UN Volunteer Dr. Mubiala Ekwala Nicodeme (DRC), HIV Programme Supervisor for Malawi’s Northern Zone, uses a police boat to reach Likoma Island on Lake Malawi, thus ensuring this remote area is included in national efforts to improve and strengthen the health system and HIV prevention, treatment and care. (UNV, 2011)
01 December 2011

Malawi: Malawi is a country experiencing many challenges in executing its efforts to combat HIV and AIDS.  Nevertheless it is a country on track, making impressive gains against the disease, with UNV doctors among those playing key roles in achieving them.  UNV Doctors have been working in Malawi since 2004, when six were posted there under UNV’s Southern African Capacity Initiative.   

Today, 35 of the 55 UNV Doctors currently in Malawi make up the driving force behind the Malawi Government’s projects to strengthen the health system and continue and improve HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in the country.

Through grants from the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and National AIDS Commission, UNDP and Malawi’s Ministry of Health are funding the HIV Supervision programme as part of capacity building in improving health care services in the country. Assigned throughout Malawi’s five zones, one UNV Doctor in each is the zone’s HIV Program Supervisor.

“As HIV supervisor, my job in simplest terms is to help mitigate the effects of HIV/AIDS,” says UN Volunteer Dr. Stephen Chu, HIV Supervisor for Malawi’s South East Zone. “According to WHO, by December 2008, the world had 33.4 million people living with HIV.  Malawi has 930,000.  Of this number, 490,000 are women, 91,000 are children and the disease has left 560,000.  This is my share of the burden,” he states.

The programme funding has been instrumental in increasing the number of outreach antiretroviral therapy (ART) sites, even in hard to reach areas. Part of the programme focuses on in-service training to local health workers on ART, Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Voluntary Testing and Counselling (VTC). Zone offices focus largely on quality checked data collection and data based planning.

The results since Malawi revitalized its HIV/AIDS efforts are impressive. 

Read more about these results and the contribution of UNV
UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)