DAPP Malawi pledges continued support to Government
Today, April 7, Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) Malawi joins the international world in commemorating the World Health Day. The day is an initiative spearheaded by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Each year, the day is given a theme to highlighta subject of major importance to global health. This year’s theme is “Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere”, It focuses on ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship.
HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and malnutrition are examples of the diseases that require global attention to ensure universal global health coverage is achieved.In Malawi, according to the National TB Control Programme, there were an estimated 17,000 cases of TB in the year 2015, and approximately 54% of these were HIV positive.As of 2017, The HIV prevalence rate was 8.2 percent, according to the Ministry of Health.
Malnutrition is also a widespread problem in Malawi, particularly amongst pregnant and lactating mothers and their infants.The UnitedNations Children’s Fund indicates that around 46 percent of children under five are stunted and 21 percent are underweight.
These diseases are so devastating because among others, they reverse decades of improvement in life expectancy, educational progress and economic growth. For instance, a World Bank report estimates that HIV and AIDS may reduce Gross Domestic Product growth by 1 percent a year in some sub-Saharan African countries, due to the continuing loss of skilled and unskilled workers in the prime of life.
Recognising these challenges, DAPP Malawi has worked with the Malawi Government since 1998 to ensure healthy lives and promote the well-being of Malawians by implementing projects aimed to fight TB, HIV and Aids, Malaria and Malnutrition.
DAPP began its work to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1998 through itsHOPE project which established community HIV resource hubs and activity centers for everyone in a given community. Building on this work, DAPP launched a Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) programme in 2007 to combat and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. TCE combinedcounseling, field-testing, education, and community mobilization approaches. It reached more than 1.400.000 people with HIV information and tested 500.000 people for HIV.
The organisation also implemented the Total Control – TBprogram in the Mining Sector in 3 districts; Chiradzulu, Phalombe and Neno. It aimed out to prevent the spread of Tuberculosis amongst key population namely; miners, ex–miners, their families and communities. The project aimed at increasing TB case finding amongst 15.000 mining sector key population and access to information on TB/ HIV and AIDS prevention, testing and counselling, care and treatment to presumptive TB patients.
Currently, the organisation is implementing the Integrated HIV/TB Project in Thyolo district, Malawi which aims to prevent the spread of TB by identifying TB patients through microscopy, conducting HIV testing and ensuring care for those infected by TB. It has also scaled up its interventions in eliminating the epidemic in the districts of Chikwawa, Machinga and Zomba
Furthermore, the organisation supported the Government’s efforts to reduce child stunting and; maternal and child anaemia in Blantyre and Chiradzulu districts. This is achieved through enhancing maternal and child nutrition service delivery at community level and by strengthening existing local development committees.Since 2013, DAPP’s nutrition efforts have reached more than 400,000 people with information about food, nutrition and child feeding practices.
On this World Health Day, DAPP Malawi pledges to continue supporting the Malawi Government in ensuringthat all Malawians can access essential quality health services in the areas of HIV and Aids, TB and Malnutrition without facing financial hardship through the continued development of innovative tools and approaches of eliminating the diseases.