By John Saukira
Population Services International (PSI) has rebranded the packaging of Chishango condoms to make them more attractive and user friendly.
At the launch ceremony, PSI Malawi country representative Jephta Mtema said the rebranded Chishango preserves the same symbol of a shield with some modern features and that the rebranding is as a result of what their target consumers want,” he said.
He said PSI remains committed to play its role in making sure that condoms are readily accessed and affordable by all especially those in the rural areas and entertainment hotspots.
He said PSI will not relent in its effort of working hand and hand with all stakeholders in the HIV/Aids national response, saying the newly introduced Chishango will go a long way in complementing government efforts in fighting HIV.
Guest of honour at the function was deputy director in the HIV department, David Kaluwa, who commended PSI Malawi for the new-look Chishango.
The 2015-2020 condom strategy indicates that Malawi has made significant progress over the last decade in fighting the HIV epidemic.
The strategy indicate that with the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and prevention programmes such as prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, over 275,000 deaths have been averted and 1.4 million lives have been saved since the early 2000.
The Malawi Government is committed to the UNAIDS global goal of ending Aids by 2030, as well as its Fast Track ‘90-90-90’ strategy, wherein 90 percent of all people living with HIV are to be diagnosed and that 90 percent of those diagnosed are initiated and retained on ART, and 90 percent of patients on ART are to achieve viral suppression by 2020.
Malawi has developed a comprehensive 2015–2020 National Strategic Plan for HIV, which acknowledges the importance of prevention, which further details that condoms are the cornerstone to preventing the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, as well as preventing unintended pregnancies.
The latter strategy provides a guide to the various roles that key stakeholders should play in the implementation of comprehensive condom programming, within the context of continuous and sustainable growth of the condom market.
According to the document, the Ministry of Health is committed to collaborating with all stakeholders to increase the availability and accessibility of male and female condoms.
“It is through our strategic, collaborative, and sustained efforts that we will be able to achieve our goal to eliminate the spread of HIV infection and sexually transmitted infections, and prevent unintended pregnancies in Malawi,” reads the document in part.