Malawi to launch Nutrition, HIV and AIDS project

Malawi is set to launch the Nutrition, HIV and AIDS project on Thursday February 28, 2012.

Principal Secretary in the Department of Nutrition and HIV and AIDS Edith Mkawa said this during the news conference held at Central Office of Information in Lilongwe, Monday.

She explained that President Joyce Banda will preside over the function at Bingu International Conference Centre.

”Malawi has made considerable gains in child survival and maternal health but no significant improvements have been recorded in stunting.”

The project is set to increase access to and utilization of selected services known to contribute to the reduction of child stunting, maternal and child anemia , she said.

PS for Nutrition Edith Nkawa, NAC Executive Director dr Thomas Bisika and World Bank representative John Paul Clark at the press briefing on the launch of Nutrition, HIV & Aids held  in Lilongwe

PS for Nutrition Edith Nkawa, NAC Executive Director dr Thomas Bisika and World Bank representative John Paul Clark at the press briefing on the launch of Nutrition, HIV & Aids held in Lilongwe

It is also there to increase access to and utilization of selected services known to contribute to prevention of HIV and AIDS in children and sexually active adults.

“Malawi has made significant gains in child survival and maternal health but no significant improvements have been made so far on child survival and stunting.

“Stunting also has long term effects on cognitive development, school achievement and maternal reproductive outcomes. Similarly, 54.8 percent of children under five and 32 percent of non-pregnant women are anemic and this poses a serious public health concern,” explained Mkawa.

She said children anemia affects their mental and physical capacity and hinders language learning capacity and academic performance.

Mkawa further said that though Malawi has made significant achievements in the management of HIV and AIDS, the prevalence rate remains one of the highest in the world; therefore through the implementation of this project, the Government will reduce the levels of stunting, anemia and HIV transmission both in children and adults.

“Since 2010 Malawi has been registering highest prevalence rates globally, it is against this background that the Government of Malawi with funding from the World Bank and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) developed the Nutrition, HIV and AIDS project,” she said.

Speaking at the same function, the Project Manager from World Bank, John Paul Clark said his institution as one of the financers of the project they opted to assist Malawi in the project as per the request that the Government of Malawi posed.

“As World Bank we will provide US$80 million (over MK29.5 billion),with the following break down, US$50 million will go to HIV and AIDS; US$30million will assist in the children nutrition,” said Paul Clark adding that the other money will come from CIDA and UNICEF.

About 60 percent of the money is a grant with the remaining 40 percent as loan.

The project will run for five years.

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