A Lilongwe based non-governmental organisation called WeCare Youth Organisation has urged youths living with HIV to follow medical instructions for them to live healthy lives.
Director of Administration for the organisation, Cydrick Jaji Banda said most youths in the country are not adhering to medical advice and instructions given by doctors due to lack of civic education.
“We are encouraging these youths who are living with HIV to stick to the requirements of taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) to increase the immunity in their bodies,” said Banda during a youth empowerment event on sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR) held recently at Ligowe Community Development Centre in Neno.
He added that his organisation is trying to encourage the youth to access friendly services through the formation of teen clubs as a platform for sharing information and knowledge on sexual reproductive health rights related issues.
WeCare Youth Organisation is working with a number of teen clubs through its Youth Champion project implemented at Ligowe and Zalewa health centres with funding from International Aids Society (IAS).
One of the groups the organization is working is Ligowe Teen Club whereby it is mobilizing youths between 10 and 19 years to appreciate the challenges they face and how they can overcome them.
“We want to ensure that the youths enjoy positive health living through access to youth friendly health services in the health centres we are working with. One of the key areas is to encourage them to adhere to the prescribed drug,” Banda said.
Ligowe Healthy Centre facility In-charge, Joel Ng’ami expressed gratitude to the organisation for introducing the project saying it has reduced some challenges the youth were facing.
“Most of HIV positive teenagers were walking long distances to access ART. At times, they also missed normal clinic services because they were afraid of being mocked by other people,” said Ng’ami.
He added that the coming of the project has helped them to bring together many youths are now conversant with HIV and AIDS programs and sexual reproductive health issues.
In her remarks, one of the members of Ligowe Teen Club, who is living positively with HIV, asked for continued support from WeCare Organisation.
“The coming of this project has helped us to access good and quality health services at the health centres. We are also benefiting from the civic education on HIV and AIDS is also helping us to fight against the disease in our societies,” she said.
During the event, the organisation also donated T-shirts, football and netball to Ligowe Teen Club in order to keep them physically fit.