See also:
» 06.02.2009 - Cholera claims 52 in Malawi
» 26.08.2008 - AIDS deaths drop by 75 percent in Malawi
» 10.06.2008 - 2 million Malawi children targeted for vitamin 'A' supplement
» 04.06.2008 - Malawi successfully reducing HIV rate
» 22.08.2007 - Boom for Malawian HIV-affected fish farmers
» 29.05.2007 - Malawi mourns 1st Lady
» 16.11.2006 - AIDS treatment fails to reach remote lakeshore community
» 30.10.2006 - Show us the money, says UN AIDS envoy

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Health | Society

Malawi swaps HIV cash hand-outs for food

afrol News, 13 October - Malawian government has dropped dishing out an extra US$35 per month to its civil servants living with HIV, to buy food and is instead giving out food handouts, media reports say.

"The money may not be spent on what you intended it for," Mary Shawa from president's office told media.

New policy is reportedly part of a government review into its HIV policy and how best to fund it.

Southern African nation is among countries worst affected by Aids in the world, with about seven percent of its 13 million people affected.

Reports show that government is country's largest employer with about 120,000 people on its payroll.

Dr Shawa, who is responsible for HIV and nutrition in president's office, has announced that about 38,000 HIV mainly government employees will receive food instead of extra money in their pay packet.

"Recommendation is to give them cooking oil, some eggs as support," she said, adding that HIV-positive employees will also be educated about virus and get advice about safe sex.

After years of silence, authorities reportedly spoke out about crisis in 2004, when a programme to tackle HIV/AIDS was launched. Dr Shawa said that it is then free ARVs were introduced.

According to United Nations (UN)'s World Health Organisation (WHO), about 35% of those infected with HIV in Malawi are now taking ARV drugs.

Last year, government is said to have called on all sexually active people in country to take an Aids test.

UN estimates that 80% of people with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa do not know they have virus.

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