By Sam Majamanda – Mana.
Phalombe District AIDS Coordinating Committee (DACC) on Wednesday tipped residents of Mpata area, at the foot of Mulanje Mountain, on HIV prevention as a way of ensuring that new infections are controlled in the area.
This comes at a time, Government is expected to commence a road construction project that will pass through the area, connecting Phalombe Boma and Nkhulambe on the other side of the mountain.
Speaking during belated commemorations of the World AIDS Day at Mpata Primary School, Deputy Chairperson for Phalombe District Council, Agason Sompho said the Council has noted that development projects usually come along with parallel activities such as sexual immorality that leads to the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV, hence the need to sensitize communities prior to projects.
“We want our people here to avoid getting carried away with visitors that will come to work on the road because after this project we have various other development activities that will require the same people, so we do not want them to risk their lives over project,” he said.
Chairperson for Phalombe District Youth Network, Wyson Luka said the network’s worry was on the youth of the area whose good percentage is idle, a situation that renders them gullible.
He said being in an isolated area, the youths are not well reached with HIV related messages, a thing that raises concerns over their safety during the period of the construction work.
“We are working on plans to ensure that youths in the area are given HIV/AIDS critical messages throughout the project timeline,” he said.
Phalombe District has a prevalence rate of 15.5 per cent with eight per cent of the infected on Antiretroviral Treatment.