- Malawi has witnessed a 75 percent decline in HIV/AIDS related deaths in the past four years having embarked on greater access to free anti-retroviral drugs.
Senior government official, Ms Mary Shawa, said AIDS has been leading cause of deaths for adult population in Malawi, but added that since March this year government had put 159,111 people on ARVs out of which 106,547 of those are still alive.
"I am happy that AIDS related deaths have decreased by 75 percent over last four years in comparison with AIDS related deaths we had in 2003-2004 because of increased free treatment," said Ms Shawa.
She said decline represents improved survival rate, though she admits that Malawi needs to do more to ensure that Malawians have access to medication to avoid delayed enrolment into life saving drugs.
"We still need to do more, because those who did not make it may have died because they started treatment late or did not have access to proper nutrition."
Malawi has had about 800,000 AIDS related deaths since 1985, when the first case was reported.
In January, Malawian government also announced a salary increase to HIV infected civil servants as a contribution to proper diet.
Meanwhile, Malawian government has decided to invest in anti-retroviral drugs production to reduce the cost of drugs and also to create employment for its citizens.
Ms Shawa said the process of putting up drug producing firm required supporting policies for its success, saying the countries has been venturing into possible policies to support its establishment. "Once all polices are in place, we will see the way forward," she said
Malawi like the rest of African countries hardest hit by HIV and AIDS, is also facing human resources crisis which has generally created a lack of capacity to deliver health services, especially in rural areas where primary health care is severely compromised.
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