By Joseph Chikalipo
Over 100,000 boys and men have received safe Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) services in Lilongwe district since April 2016 to September 2019 through the Jhpiego led Project Improving Quality (IQ).
Jhpiego in collaboration with Ministry of Health is implementing the project under US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) with funding from the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFA).
The project being implemented in 30 medical facilities across Lilongwe district, aims to scale up the provision of quality VMMC services to boys and men in the age group of 15 to 30 years.
During the celebration of the 100,000 milestone that took place in Lilongwe on Thursday, Country Director for Jhpiego, Hanna Gibson vowed that the organization would continue doing the commendable job.
“We have a full year because the project will come to an end in September, 2020. We are happy to continue contributing towards Malawi’s goals of controlling the HIV epidemic,” she said.
However, though the project has been a success, Gibson bemoaned that it faced some challenges over the years but they are being well handled.
“Initially, 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.
Commenting on the matter, District Commissioner for Lilongwe, Lowford Palani who was the guest of honour commended all partners that are overseeing the project saying it will greatly help in combating HIV and Aids.
“Government is committed towards implementing VMMC but in collaboration with Jhpiego and others, a lot of people will get the service which is going to ultimately help in dealing with HIV epidemic,” Palani said.
He further urged all leaders to help in mobilizing and sensitizing their communities about circumcision as it is of paramount importance in dealing with the HIV and Aids pandemic.-MANA