Nkhata Bay District Council has drilled commercial sex workers and fishers in community-based HIV-testing services and provider-initiated HIV-testing and counselling.
Speaking on Friday, Nkhata Bay District Council acting nutrition and HIV officer Joshua Nyirenda said the training aimed at equipping key populations—fishers and commercial sex workers—on available HIV testing services.
“We have trained them in new developments such as voluntary-assisted partner notification, HIV-self-testing and provider-initiated HIV-testing and couselling,” he said.
Nyirenda said they targeted Nkhata Bay North for the initiative due to its geographical location as it is hard-to-reach and there is an inflow of commercial sex workers and fishers.
He said: “This creates an environment where youths are at risk of contracting the virus.
“The initiative will increase the number of people tested for HIV, thereby helping to achieve the first 95 of identifying HIV in the 95-95-95 strategy.”
Nyirenda said by engaging ADCs, the training will assist in revamping or forming-community based organisations (CBO) at each group village head as most of the CBOs died a natural death.
Tosca Msuku, a fisher, commended the council for organising the training.
“Such trainings are important for us because we are sidelined in many interventions. We are going to share with our friends what we have learnt,” he said.
The training was funded by Temwa organisation which implements its activities in Nkhata Bay North.