MHEN for awareness on PrEP – Capital Radio Malawi
21 April, 2024

Jobe: People would be reckless

The Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) fears that the public could exploit availability of the injectable Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) due to misinformation about its exact purpose.

The reaction comes after the health ministry announced that it will be administering an injectable PrEP in selected health facilities in Blantyre and Lilongwe districts.

Health specialists tout PrEP, when taken as prescribed, as highly effective for reducing chances of getting HIV through sexual intercourse.

MHEN executive director George Jobe stresses the need for public sensitisation to curb potential misuse and abuse of the drug

“People would be reckless deliberately and be consuming more and more, which is going to be more costly. A majority of young people may also be misinformed about its exact purpose.

“On the other hand, because it has a short period span of months, not years, people may still be having confidence in it after the expiry of the period hence exposing them to HIV,” said Jobe.

Recently, the ministry of health launched a campaign that will see health facilities in Blantyre and Lilongwe districts receive the drug.

“Malawi has made significant progress in the HIV response as demonstrated by the overall reduction by half of HIV incidence from 0.40% in 2015/16 to 0.20%in 2020/2021, according to the Malawi Population Based HIV Assessment Survey (MPHIA).

“The ministry of health and implementing partners have been delivering HIV combination prevention interventions in public, private and CHAM health facilities across the country,” read part of a statement signed by ministry of health secretary Samson Mndolo.

In Blantyre, the targeted facilities include Chilomoni Health Centre, Limbe MACRO and Naperi Drop in Centre and three health facilities in Lilongwe namely Area 25 Health Centre, Bwaila Hospital and Area 47 Drop in Centre to further reduce HIV infections in the country.

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