Through the project called Accelerating children’s HIV/AIDS Treatment Initiative (ACT), Malawi Girl Guides Association (MAGGA) has taken a step further by lobbying adolescents aged (10-19) to go for HIV testing for them to know their status and get linked for treatment.
With funding from the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US president’s Emergence Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through Management Sciences for Health (MSH), Magga has been able to conduct Music festivals on 18 and 19 of March in Mpemba, Bangwe, Chileka and Chigumukire in Blantyre.
According to MAGGA Blantyre District Coordinator,Tsankho Mdala said the project aims at testing adolescents and ensuring they are linked to care and treatment.
“This is one area under the 90-90-90 treatment target which is to: diagnose 90% of all people living with HIV (PLHIV), start and retain 90% of those diagnosed on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and achieve viral suppression for 90% of ART patients by the end of 2020”,she said
Mdala said the festival was conducted in making sure that adolescent have been tested and have received treatment.
She said a total of 841 adolescents were tested and received their test results in all the 4 centers. Those that were found positive were linked to nearest health centers while those that were found to be positive were advised to stay safe and condomise.
She pointed out that as a district,they are working hand in hand with the ministry of health who are assisting them with HTS counsellors.
Magga programmes coordinator, Khama Ziyabu applauded MSH for funding the organization. He said most adolescent living with HIV are not aware of their status.
According to Ziyabu,the 90-90-90 target will ensure that young girls and boys have been tested, treated and viral road is suppressed. He said that the music festival was one innovative way of luring adolescent to get tested as they love music.
The project is being directly funded by Management sciences for health (MSH).
The Malawi Girl Guides Association (MAGGA) is strictly a voluntary, non-political, non-religious and self-governing non-governmental organization. It is open to all girls and young women without distinction of creed, race, nationality, or any other circumstances.