U.S.-Malawi Allies against AIDS; Voice of America Editorial


December 26, 2009

United States Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby traveled to Malawi recently to meet with senior officials of the government of Malawi, members of the international donor community, and representatives of Malawi's civil society to discus joint efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other health challenges.

Ambassador Goosby visited programs jointly supported by the Global Fund, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Government of Malawi and other cooperating partners.

U.S. Ambassador to Malawi Peter Bodde and Malawi's Minister of Health Professor Moses Chirambo joined Ambassador Goosby in Lilongwe on December 15 at a ceremony inaugurating the HIV Department of Malawi's Ministry of Health, which was built with funding from the United States government.

The new 960 square meter office complex, built at a cost of over $1 million, is a state-of-the-art building that will support prevention, care, and treatment for HIV/AIDS. It represents the growing partnership between the 2 nations in fighting HIV/AIDS.

Ambassador Goosby noted that HIV/AIDS remains a high priority for the U.S. government. "We have increased funding, and we will continue to support this program and expand it in prevention, care and treatment," he said.

Ambassador Goosby said he was impressed by the Malawi government's commitment at the district and national levels to fight the AIDS epidemic. "The Malawian government has shown strong leadership in responding to the AIDS epidemic," said Ambassador Goosby. "It has created the National AIDS Commission. It has created a number of groups that are in advisory as well as implementation and oversight roles within the Ministry of Health that engage with civil society, patients affected with HIV, as well as the faith based community."

PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have supported countries in placing more than 3.7 million people on antiretroviral treatment and delivered prevention interventions to millions more globally. Malawi has received support for the prevention, care and treatment of HIV and AIDS and for health systems strengthening initiatives. The government of Malawi and its partners, including PEPFAR and the Global Fund, provide life-saving antiretroviral therapy to over 170,000 Malawians, and have delivered counseling and testing for HIV to over 300,000 pregnant Malawian women.

The U.S. is committed to working with Malawi, other nations and international partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Source: http://www.voanews.com/policy/editorials/a-41-2009-12-29-voa8-84651442.html

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