19 April 2019
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Monday, 31 December 2018 05:38

FPAM courts bar owners on sex workers, beats target

Written by  Grace Kapatuka
District Manager for Ntcheu FPAM, Saukira Sitima District Manager for Ntcheu FPAM, Saukira Sitima pic by Grace Kapatuka

Ntcheu, December 31, 2018: Family Planning of Malawi (FPAM) in Ntcheu says it has managed to reach out to over 500 sex workers with messages of HIV and Aids as well as reproductive health services in the year ending, beating their set target of 400.

District manager for Ntcheu FPAM office, Saukira Sitima disclosed this during a meeting with bar owners aimed at sharing experiences, challenges and successes of the year ending following the implementation of a global fund project that targets sex workers in the district.

Sitima attributed the success to the good working relation that exists between them and different partners in the district including bar owners in the implementation of a global fund project whose aim is to reduce new HIV infections and further spread of the virus in female sex workers in the district.

“We are working together with several partners that include health workers, Police, Social Welfare Office and others in disseminating rightful messages towards fighting the pandemic as well as provision of other reproductive health services,” said Sitima.

Through the Global Fund supported project whose phase two started in January, 2018 and is expected to end in December, 2020, FPAM in Ntcheu through Action Aid Malawi provides services like HIV testing and treatment, STI screening and diagnosis and treatment, TB screening and family planning methods among others to female sex workers.

Ntcheu District Health Office Sexually Transmitted Infections Coordinator, Limbikani Semu commended FPAM for the project being implemented saying it has helped reduce the number of sex workers engaging themselves into risky behaviors.

“Sex workers are now able to report and access services in health facilities unlike in the past whereby a few were visiting the facilities for treatment,” he said.

The owner of Club Macheza situated at Manjawira in the district, Tiyamike Mwantisi said the project is bearing fruits in the district noting that sex workers have taken it upon themselves to sensitize their friends in the trade as well as their customers on the dangers of HIV and Aids.

“We have seen a tremendous change in information sharing. After attending trainings under this project, sex workers like at my place share information to others on the dangers of the disease. I am sure that by the end of the project, more sex workers will be reached with rightful information,” said Mwantisi.

Apart from Ntcheu, the project is also being implemented in Karonga, Dowa, Mchinji, Salima, Dedza and Kasungu.

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