Malawi won’t accept unpalatable ARVs, says JB on return from Nigeria

President Joyce Banda on Thursday stressed that she will not accept any donation of anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs that would pose threat to the life of Malawians.

Banda said this at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe on her arrival from Nigeria where she attended a conference organized by Nigeria women.

The President noted that some of the ARVs that people living positively were receiving are outdated and had enormous side effects.

She said some of the people who have been getting the drug had deformed bodies while others had strange features.

“Apart from other issues, the meeting I attended discussed on how we can reduce HIV infections particularly amongst mothers and young girls. Furthermore, the meeting discussed the need to improve provision of medicine to HIV patients.

President Banda arriving from Nigeria

President Banda arriving from Nigeria

“Because I had the opportunity to speak, I told the meeting that there was need to start giving our people new drugs that have no effects [and are user-friendly],” President Banda explained.

She added: “I have since made up my mind that from today on no ARVs that would affect the lives of Malawian be given to Malawians. Malawi is not a dumping site for [unpalatable] drugs.”

On how Malawi would benefit from the trip she had, the President said during the meeting leaders agreed on several ways that would help empower women and girls.

Banda also said the meeting agreed on what countries could do to make sure that young girls remained in schools so that they are not sexually abused.

“Women face a lot of challenges and the meeting which focused much on women and girls looked at how to reduce HIV infections and new ways that would prevent women from being abused by their husbands,” the President said.

President Banda left the country for Nigeria on Wednesday to attend a conference organized by Nigerian women who were celebrating the big role that President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan on appointing women on high positions.

Banda and Liberian President were the two female presidents who attended the meeting.

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