Mangochi district Aids coordinator Ernest Kadzokoya has said the increase in the number of people defaulting anti retroviral treatment on (ART) is worrying the council as it is undermining the fight against HIV and Aids.
Kadzokoya said this on Monday on the sidelines of the district’s commemoration of World Aids Day held at Mpondasi Primary School Ground in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mponda’s area in the district.
He said: “Much as the district is putting much effort in the fight against HIV and Aids by reducing its prevalence from 21 to 16 percent, the rising figures of people defaulting treatment is a big challenge.
“The default rate is at 16 percent which is big. Causes of the rising default rate are that some people on ART treatment feel that they are fine after being prayed for by religious leaders, others who find someone to marry stop taking the medication for fear of being dumped by their partners.”
Kadzokoya added the district council is doing everything possible to reduce the default rate by engaging those on ART treatment to assist their friends by encouraging them to remain on medication.
Speaking in a separate interview, district programme coordinator for Dignitas International in Mangochi, Christopher Kandionamaso, said as a key district partner in the fight against HIV and Aids they strive to ensure drugs were available in all health centres in the district to allow many people to go for HIV testing.
Mangochi Town Council chairperson Ibrahim Kacheya, who was the guest of honour at the function, said currently 65 000 people are on ART treatment in Mangochi. n