Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with HIV/Aids (Manerela+) has expressed worry over growing cases of non-adherence to ARVs which is leading to increased drug resistance.
Manerela+ programme officer Pirira Chigumu said the country was experiencing increased cases of deaths, particularly in rural areas, because of non-adherence to drugs, a development that results in drug resistance.
Speaking at Kumanda Ground in Blantyre during a drug adherence awareness campaign the organisation is conducting across the country, Chigumu expressed worry with the trend saying it was leading to untimely deaths of people on ARVs.
“It is unfortunate we are witnessing an increase in drug resistance.
Most defaulters of ARVs do so due to marriage obligations. They take the drugs without their partners’ knowledge and then comes a time when they can no longer hide and instead they just abandon the treatment.
Chigumu said her organisation had embarked on rural communities’ awareness to help people on ARVs and their guardians appreciate the importance of adherence to ARVs.
On her part, Group Village Headman Kumanda pledged to sensitise her fellow traditional leaders and subjects in her area on the importance of adherence to drugs.
Early this year, President Peter Mutharika said Malawi and its development partners will actively pursue the goal of defeating HIV/Aids by 2030 by ensuring that the outstanding gains achieved in the fight against the condition are not reversed.
He said this when he held discussions with the Joint United Nations Programe on HIV/Aids (UNAids) deputy executive director Jan Beagle in Lilongwe.
Last month, Malawi shared her success stories in the fight against HIV and Aids to the world during a 2016 United Nations (UN) General Assembly Special session on HIV and Aids from June 8 to 10 in New York. n