Over 100 000 boys and men have received safe voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) services in Lilongwe District between April 2016 and September 2019 through a Jhpiego project.
Jhpiego in collaboration with Ministry of Health is implementing the project under United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) with funding from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar).
The project, run in 30 medical facilities across Lilongwe, seeks to scale up the provision of quality VMMC services to boys and men in the age bracket of 15 to 30 years.
During the celebration of the 100 000 milestone in Lilongwe on Thursday, Jhpiego country director Hanna Gibson said they will continue with the project.
“We have a full year as the project ends in September 2020. We are happy to continue contributing towards Malawi’s goals of controlling HIV epidemic,” she said.
However, Gibson bemoaned that the project faced some challenges over the years.
“Among other problems, we were hindered by myths and misconceptions regarding circumcision because traditionally, Lilongwe is predominantly Chewa; hence, it is not a circumcision district,” she said.
Lilongwe district commissioner Lowford Palani, who was the guest of honour, commended all partners implementing the project.
“Government is committed towards implementing VMMC in collaboration with Jhpiego and other organisations. “We hope a lot of people will get the service which will help in dealing with HIV epidemic,” he said.