President Peter Mutharika has assured the United Nations (UN) of Malawi’s commitment in the fight against HIV and Aids by saying his government is committed to achieving zero infection rate by 2030.
In a speech made available to The Nation, the President also said that in line with the Vancouver Convection, Malawi will, from April 2016, extend antiretroviral therapy (ART) eligibility to all HIV-positive Malawians.
Mutharika said this on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) currently underway in New York, United States of America (USA) when he shared with his counterparts experiences and commitment the country is taking in order to end the Aids pandemic by 2030.
Mutharika, who co-chaired the meeting, informed the gathering that although Malawi has one of the lowest gross domestic product (GDP) in the world, it has increased its domestic contribution to HIV programmes from only 1.7 percent in 2010 to 14 percent in 2014.
However, the President said despite this increase, Malawi will still require additional support to meet its targets.
Said Mutharika: “This issue, plus the sustainable financing for the HIV response, is going to be critical for meeting the 90.90.90 targets by 2020 and ending the Aids by 2030.”
Recently, UNAids deputy director of Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa, Pierre Somse, commended Malawi for scoring a point by showing greater commitment towards eliminating the epidemic by integrating the global 90:90:90 targets in its strategic plan.
In June this year, the UNAids and Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF)–Belgium also encouraged government to consider introducing community-based ART programme if the country is to meet the 90:90:90 targets.
According to Unicef, in Malawi, Aids continues to infect 10 000 people a year and around 46 percent of new infections occur among young people aged 15 to 24 whereas an estimated population of 89 000 children under the age of 15 are living with the disease.