Mchinji District would soon establish an HIV/Aids wellness centre at the Malawi/Zambia border aimed at reducing HIV infection among long distance truck drivers, sex workers and communities around the border.
Mchinji district health officer Chimwemwe Banda said the wellness centre is one of the Cross-Border HIV and Aids Initiatives (CBI) by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).
“The initiative is aimed at providing services such as counselling and medicines to truck drivers and sexual workers who are most of the times away from their partners and spend several days travelling,” Banda said.
He said the wellness centre would also provide other health services such as malaria, and cholera treatment to communities around the border area which include border police, immigration personnel and people crossing the border.
Banda said a container will be mounted at the border post next to the immigration offices. The district health office would provide medical staff at the clinic while North Star alliance would install the container for the wellness site and cater for staff salaries and upkeep.
The Mchinii District Council has been tasked to monitor and supervise the wellness centre to be located 12 kilometres away from the Mchinji District Hospital.
The wellness project is expected to be operational by January next year and will phase out in in 2017. Twelve more wellness centres will be established in other border areas in the country.
After the phasing out of the project, the district is supposed to look for other partners to continue the project.