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UNAIDS applauds Malawi for making strides towards ending AIDS

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has applauded Malawi for making major strides towards ending AIDS by the year 2030.

UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Her Excellency Jan Beagle made the remarks when she met the Board Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission (NAC), His Royal Highness Paramount Chief Kyungu XXIV on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 in Lilongwe.

Ms Beagle said Malawi is one of the very first countries to embrace the ambitious global strategy to end AIDS by 2030 by adopting the 90:90:90 targets in its National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (NSP) for 2015 to 2020. In the NSP, Malawi plans to have 90% of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) tested for HIV and know their  sero status; 90% of those known to be HIV positive be initiated on Antiretroviral therapy (ART); and 90% of patients on ART be retained in care and adhere to ART by the year 2030.

She was further pleased to note that the 90:90:90 targets and other related programmes are focusing on  specific population groups, such as HIV positive pregnant and lactating women, as well as HIV exposed infants (Option B+), which offer a lot of lessons to the global community.

Ms Beagle added that the Test and Treat policy which will globally be rolled out in April 2016 offers an opportunity for Malawi to achieve universal treatment for HIV positive population, and therefore, a major stride towards ending AIDS by 2030.

She then congratulated Malawi for being a member for the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB), at a time when the United Nations has adopted the Sustainable Development Goals and the UNAIDS adopting a board and ambitious strategy to end AIDS by 2030.

In his remarks, NAC Board Chairperson, His Royal Highness Paramount Chief Kyungu thanked UNAIDS for appointing Malawi to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB).

He further thanked Ms Beagle and the UNAIDS Malawi team for the technical and financial support they provide to the National HIV and AIDS response.

The NAC Chairperson also reiterated NAC’s commitment to continued partnership with UNAIDS, in the context of the Fast Track agenda where the 90:90:90 National Strategic Plan targets focus on eliminating AIDS by the year 2030.

Ms Jan Beagle was on a four-day long mission to Malawi from Monday, 25th January to Thursday, 28th January 2016 during which she held meetings with the President of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and the First Lady, Madam Gertrude Mutharika; the Minister of Health, Honourable Dr Peter Kumpalume, MP; members of civil society; and representatives of United Nations agencies in the country, among others.

 

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