Lunguzi says Malawi should tread carefully on mandatory HIV test for pregnant women and their  sex partners

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee of Health and Population, Juliana Lunguzi, has said there is no need to press the panic button by putting  in mandatory HIV and Aids testing in the country but said there should be a cautious approach.

Lunguzi: We don’t make women run away from the health facilities

Lunguzi, who is member of parliament for Dedza East (Malawi Congress Party –MCP), was commenting in the HIV/Aids and Nutrition Blll in Parlaiment.

The Bill  if enacted into law  would require pregnant women to undergo HIV testing and also their sexual partners. The move is aimed at reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

However, opponents of the proposed bill in Parliament argue it would violate women’s rights.

Lunguzi  pointed out that Malawi has demonstrated “tremendous progress” in the area of prevention of mother to child HIV transmission.

She said the country need to tread carefully on the issue of making the HIV test compulsory.

“I say so because if you force people they might not be cooperative in doing the things that you want them to do despite understanding its importance.  So, it is how we word whatever comes here.  As a country, we are formulating a law and let us be serious on how best we frame it, so that we don’t make women run away from the health facilities,” she said.

Agness Nyalonje, MP for Mzimba North (People’s Party) fears that the mandatory testing  for HIV and Aids  could lead to increased cuases of geneder based violence because it will entail a woman forcing or persuading her partner to get tested.

“What I would like to underline is that, if we are insisting on compulsory testing for pregnant women, in the same way we need to find ways where our system can be on mandatory basis for men too.  Government must find ways to collect information from men and take the role of making sure that men come for testing. Do not put it on the shoulders of women. Women are already carrying a huge burden,” said Nyalonje.

“Let us make sure that men, for a change take  responsibility for themselves and for the unborn children, for whom we profess to be testing,” she added.

Chairman of Parliamentary  HIV, AIDS and Nutrition Committee, Gumba Banda  said “we are all affected by HIV directly or indirectly. And every journey, no matter what it takes starts with a single step. Therefore, the need to pass this piece of legislation, does not need to be over-emphasised. The process started way back in 2010, 2008, or there about and here we are on the journey.”

Rights group that advocates for women’s rights and empowerment, said the proposed bill was unfortunate and retrogressive as it implied women were to blame for transmitting the disease.

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NOXY
Guest

For the first time I agree with Lunguzi on this one

drillmachine
Guest

this already started long time ago. The first day a pregnant woman goes for checkup she is tested for HIV and this is done on the baby when its just born. So u tell me this was being done illegally.. ForGod’SakeMalawi Am considering a lawsuit

HIV Guru
Guest

Its not a law for now thats why some pregnant women give birth at home because they do not want to get tested. They are not punished for that and even partners who refuse are not punished if they refuse to get tested. If the law comes into play it will be compulsory for each and every pregnant women and her partner and failure to do that will be punishable at law. Thats the Bill at hand

Kachindanyini
Guest

Zoda mutu

Nawo
Guest

We should welcome this policy. Mandatory testing for pregnant women and their partners is long overdue and Juliana Lunguzi (MP) is completely misguided. Does Lunguzi really have a medical background? Her statements make me doubt this. Both men and women should be tested of HIV when the woman is pregnant. The men who refuse or run away from testing are the ones spreading the virus and government should track them down i.e. punish those who infect others with HIV.

Banda
Guest
Lunguzi is WRONG again. I come to realise Lunguzi is a loud-mouth and attention seeker whose ideas are not progressive at all. Mandatory HIV testing for pregnant women and their husbands or partners is the RIGHT thing to do. It is necessary to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission but also stop the spread of the virus. I fact, those who have the virus (woman and man) will be treated in time. If previous governments had implemented mandatory HIV testing for pregnant women and partners as a policy, our country would not have been savaged by HIV-AIDS. Please, Madame Lunguzi stop parading… Read more »
Mumbuka Wosamba
Guest

You are late, this is already being practiced in all hospitals – even private ones. Mzimayi akakana kuyezetsa saloledwa kupita ku sikelo.

nediek
Guest
Can someone in the medical field school me. My understanding was that pregnant women are already being tested for HIV without their consent when they first attend the antenatal clinic. If that is true, then a new development will only be the enactment of the law and the subsequent test for the partner. If this is put into law, what will be the penalty for non-compliance. Shall you chase every man who makes that woman pregnant? Really, is that the path that we would like to take in order to get donor money? I think I am missing some details.… Read more »
Mkamwini
Guest

Compulsory abortions to all positive pregrant women with less than K50,000 of yearly income

Kenkkk
Guest

All should be equally tested. We men are mostly responsible for this and to try to hide it is very irresponsible and selfish. Listen you male MPs.

It will be a very stupid law if men are excluded and it will solve nothing. The spread will continue.

Achinangolo
Guest

Zonsezi zimayambira pokumba plane

“Mbuye atichitire chifundo”

wpDiscuz

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