Communities in Chitipa District have teamed up to support with goats families of children living with HIV to enhance their livelihood through livestock production.
The community members, who formed Thembi Community Initiative in June this year, have since donated goats to 41 families of children living with HIV.
Speaking during a meeting with Chitipa District Executive Committee members, Thembi Community Initiative executive director Patrick Ziba said despite the country having HIV and Aids programmes, most of them do not target teenagers.
He said: “We have started with Traditional Authority Mwaulambya where we are facilitating the uptake of anti-retroviral drugs.
“So far, we are supporting 222 children living with HIV.”
Ziba also said they provide starter-up capital to families of children living with HIV to help them to continue with their education.
On his part, Chitipa district principal nutrition and HIV officer Gift Nyasulu said the fight against HIV in the district has been scaled down due to lack of partners.
He said: “As a result, key populations such as female sex workers are not being monitored.
“As of now, there is one organisation, Partners in Hope, implementing HIV programmes on the ground.”
In her remarks, Chitipa district social welfare officer Joyce Luhana commended the group for the initiative.
“We need to scale up the fight against HIV to reduce the spread of new infections, especially among the youth,” she said.
Luhana appealed to stakeholders in the district to support the initiative.
One of the residents, Joy Kameme, said empowering families with children living with HIV will enhance their nutrition status, which he said was crucial for those on anti-retroviral treatment.
According to records, Chitipa’s HIV prevalence rate is at 3.4 percent.