The Ntchisi district health office (DHO) says engaging traditional leaders in the fight against HIV and Aids has helped to reduce the HIV prevalence rate in the district.
An official from the DHO Andrew Kondwani said this on Wednesday during a candlelight memorial ceremony held at Khula primary school in Traditional Authority Malenga in the district.
Kondwani said that the district has managed to reduce the prevalence rate from 3 percent to 1.8 percent and attributed it to the engagement of key stakeholders in the district.
“We engaged chiefs to fight against cultural practices and beliefs that fuel the spread of the virus. We also engaged other key stakeholder in spreading messages about HIV and AIDS across the district,” Kondwani said.
He added that the prevalence rate in the district is one of the lowest in the country.
Speaking during the ceremony, district aids coordinator (DAC) Chimwemwe Mangila said the memorial ceremony is of great importance in reminding people on the dangers of HIV and Aids and how best the nation can develop response mechanisms to address the challenge.
‘’Everyone has a role to play in a society regardless of their status, so we should work together and involve everyone in fighting HIV and Aids,” Mangira said.
Candlelight memorial is an annual commemoration that is held to remember people who died because of the virus and those people and families still affected by the pandemic.
The theme for this year’s commemoration was ‘Ending Aids together; enhancing people living with HIV, sector involvement.’