Health officials in Mzuzu have blamed widespread alcohol abuse for a rise in cases of rape, murder and risky sexual activities in the green city’s townships.
Speaking when the city belatedly observed the World Aids Day on Friday, Mzimba North District Aids Coordination Committee chairperson Evans Mwale said authorities are worried that the situation could raise the HIV prevalence rate in the city.
He stressed the need to protect young Malawians from the ruinous impact of increased sexual activities that follows wanton and excessive drinking.
“We are worried that in areas like Mchengautuwa, Chibavi, Salisbury Lines and Zolozolo, people are drinking beer a lot and we have seen cases of rape, killings and sexual activities going up. This militates against efforts to eliminate HIV and Aids,” he said.
The commemorations focussed on empowering young women and girls to prevent HIV infections.
“Society must come together and ensure that girls are protected from risky tendencies and that every girl has a brighter future,” Mwale said.
Mzimba North district nursing officer Emily Gondwe urged Malawians to respond firmly and end harmful practices because girls are vulnerable. n