By Rose Mahorya-MANA
District AIDS Coordinating Committee Chairperson for Mzuzu City, Evans Mwale has said increase in defilement cases is said to be one of the major setbacks in the HIV fight in the City.
He made the disclosure on Wednesday during World AIDS Day Commemoration at Chibavi Primary School ground in Mzuzu.
According to Mwale, records at Mzuzu One Stop Centre, show an average of 12 defilement cases per month, a development he said is worrisome.
“In as far as defilement or rape cases are concerned, perpetrators do not have the time to use condoms as such the victims are unprotected from contracting HIV.
“We cannot say we are making progress when the children we keep are being infected,” he said.
Mwale appealed for intensified civic education on importance of reporting defilement cases in time.
“My appeal is for government and related stakeholders to help support Community Based Organisations with resources so that they intensify civic education on importance of seeking proper care for defilement victims.
“Parents and guardians need to know that as soon as they suspect defilement, they should rush to the hospital so that the victims get medication to prevent infection,” he said.
Among other things, during the commemoration, members of the public were encouraged to use Self HIV Testing Kits which are convenient and can be used in private.
According to Mzimba North HIV Services Testing Coordinator,Mlotha Mbughi, the kitswere introduced with an aim of accommodating groups of people who are reluctant go to health facilities for HIV testing for their personal reasons.
“With the introduction of Self HIV Testing Kit the number people that will know their status will increase especially among men and adolescents since it is done in private,” he said.