ActionAid Malawi celebrates ‘successes’ as exited principal recipient of global fund; Minister Kaliati ‘happy’

ActionAid Malawi exited as one of the long-time principal recipients of the Joint Tuberculosis (TB)/HIV and Aids Global Fund Program while celebrating “many successes” the organisation reportedly achieved especially during its principalship of the 2018-2020 program.

ActionAid Malawi executive director, Assan Golowa, outlining the successes of Gobal Fund principalship
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, is happy
Maria Phiri, a beneficiary

Under this program, ActionAid worked through 10 subrecipients and 16 sub-sub recipients with goals to; reduce morbidity and mortality for TB, reduce HIV related morbidity and mortality and reduce the number of new infections towards elimination of HIV transmissions.

The organisation held what it termed a media event Thursday in the capital Lilongwe to celebrate its successes with Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati attending the event as a guest of honour.

Executive director for ActionAid Malawi, Assan Golowa, said the program targeted; people living with HIV/AIDS and TB patients–young people aged 10-24, people in prisons and other closed settings, key populations that included men having sex with men, sex workers and their clients and the general population.

He said the remarkable efforts by all the stakeholders under the program earned an A2 rating by the Global Fund, meaning the program met the grant’s expectation by scoring within 90-99 percent.

“This is not a mean achievement. And it is attributed to various stakeholders. This rating would not have been possible without the tireless dedication of frontline fighters that include peer educators, peer navigators, TB volunteers, mother group members and community leaders. Basically, according to the design of the program, it relied on the existence of these stakeholders to implement most of the activities,” said Golowa.

According to Golowa, to actualise the implementation of the program in order to achieve the desired results, there were seven modules that ActionAid and its stakeholders focussed on.

And these include; TB care and prevention, prevention programme for adolescents and youths–in and out of school, comprehensive prevention programme for female sex workers and their clients, comprehensive prevention programme for men having sex with men, resilient and sustainable systems for health (RSSH), comprehensive programs for people in prisons and other closed settings and prevention programs for the general population.

“Much as we celebrate the achievements today, the program implementation also offered all of us key challenges and lessons which I hope will act as a springboard for improved implementation in the subsequent grants. The Global Fund program remains the best weapon for Malawi in the fight against TB, HIV and Aids and it is our wish that this weapon stays longer,” Golowa further said.

Maria Phiri, aged 20, working as a peer educator at Malembe Community Based Organisation in Area 25 on the outskirts of the capital Lilongwe, is one of the beneficiaries under ActionAid Malawi principalship of the 2018-2020 Joint TB/HIV and Aids Global Fund Program.

She leads 20 other girls in an Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) project belonging to Plan Malawi–a subrecipient of the Global Fund through ActionAid.

Maria concurred with Golowa, saying many young women, just like her, have indeed benefited alot.

“For instance, we have been empowered with vocational skills such as doing saloon, decoration, baking and tailoring. We are also managing a village bank through which we lend each other money to enable us finance our vocational skills as small scale businesses. This enables us make enough money to buy our daily needs,” she said.

And taking her turn, minister Kaliati said she is “happy” because she has personally witnessed how the lives of community members have improved during the 2018-2020 Global Fund program.

“For instance, some early marriages have been abolished and the girls have returned to school to be able to earn a living in future. They now avoid indulging in transactional sex that expose them to HIV. And it is easy now for the youths to access sexual reproductive health (SRH) services after the programme enlightened them,” said Kaliati.

She added: “Many of them have been linked to relevant service providers. The program has helped them learn about gender-based violence (GBV) and where to report GBV. The perpetrators of violence have been sentenced to serve jail terms after the girls were trained to report them to police. The angaliba are no longer keeping girls in initiation camps during school days following by-laws that the program helped establish”.

ActionAid Malawi first became the principal recipient for the non-biomedical part of the Joint TB/HIV and Aids Global Fund Program, in 2015-2017.

Following its exiting as one of the principal recipients, the organisation will still be part and parcel of the Global Fund family as a sub-recipient, managing an Adolescent Girls and Young Women project.

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