People Living with HIV have bemoaned lack of privacy when accessing treatment at Thavite Health Centre in Salima.
Members of the Thavite Churches HIV and AIDS Consortium made the remarks in interviews at Thavite Community Based Childcare Centre during a Star Circle meeting organised by Evangelical Association of Malawi.
Lyness Kanjinga, 38, from Mgona Village Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwanza in the district, said medical officers were violating their right to privacy by not providing special rooms for PLHIV.
“We line up with other patients and receive ARVs through the window in front of people. People who did not disclose openly like me, may avoid visiting the clinic,” she said.
Kanjinga said their group informed T/A Mwanza, the district health officer (DHO), ward councillors, among other authorities who promised to talk to the hospital staff but they are yet to see change.
T/A Mwanza confirmed in a telephone interview that the concern remains un resolved despite seeking the DHO’s intervention.
“I am very concerned, this would lead to high ART default rate. Another problem is that the nurse gives inconsistent dates of receiving the ARVs,” she said.
Salima DHO Bongani Chikwapulo said he will meet with the clinic administrator and other stakeholders to map the way forward.
“This complaint has come to my office twice. I thought we had sorted it out in the first place. The administrator ordered that ARVs be accessed through the window as a way of dealing with drug pilferage. This is not on,” he said. n