Malawi cops close to ‘prostitutes’ in high Aids rate

By Peter Makossah, Nyasa Times

Malawi Police officers are the highest hit professional workers in the country by the HIV and AIDS Pandemic, only trailing behind commercial sex workers.

The prevalence rate of HIV among the country’s law enforcers rampantly continue to rise with the force losing its workforce to the pandemic with more police officers getting infected.

According to UNFPA Malawi police officers has record the highest HIV prevalence in Malawi among professionals and are only second worst highest to ‘prostitutes.

Speaking at the opening of the three day workshop on HIV prevention for Malawi Police Service UNFPA country representative Humphreys Shumba said Malawi Police is hardest hit by the epidemic and asked for measure to prevent further prevalence.

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“This sounds appalling but it’s factual. Malawi police officers are only second to prostitutes in the country’s HIV and AIDS prevalence.  There is need for police officer to effect a viable behavioural change. The rate at which the pandemic is going within our police is but outrageous,” said Shumba.

Currently Malawi registers about 90 thousand new cases every year of HIV nationwide.

The police HIV prevalence is surpassing the national rate of 10 .6 percent at 32.1 percent in female officers and 24.5 in males according to UNFPA

Ironically, this revelation comes at a time when various organizations are still coming up to terms to devise different workable strategies aimed at curbing the pandemic.

Malawi police’s horrendous HIV prevalence has ignited new efforts for the Pakachere Institute for Health to conduct a series of sensitization training workshops for the police across the country in an effort to arrest volatile the situation.

Regional Police commissioner for the southern region, Rodney Jose while conceding that the revelation is frightful says police officers are more vulnerable to the pandemic because of the nature of their work which demands that they move from one place to another.

 Callous

One of the main reasons why police officers are more susceptible is the fact that they behave so callously and in most cases sleep with women by force.

Nyasa Times investigations reveals that police officers on patrol especially on night duties seek sexual favours from women they apprehend as rogue and vagabonds and release them after ‘sleeping’ with them.

There have also been incidences when police officers have been found doing sex with commercial sex workers as surety not to arrest them as they do their old-age profession.

According to NFPA the only way to curb the situation for police officers to change their behaviours and remain faithful to their spouses.

All said and done, children are victim of circumstances as they are orphaned and grow up without as helpless orphans.

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