17 November 2017
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Saturday, 04 November 2017 21:33

Project assists support groups in tracking ART defaulters

Written by  Yamikani Yapuwa

Blantyre, November 3, 2017: Support groups in Mangochi and Ntcheu have hailed the Investing for Impact against HIV and TB Project for promoting adherence to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) among people in different communities.

Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO) Community Based Educator in the area of Sub Traditional Authority (TA) Tsikulamowa in Ntcheu, Charity Katete on Thursday said through the project, support groups in the area  have managed to trace 30 males and 16 females who defaulted and bring them back on Anti Retroviral Treatment(ART).

"Most of these people defaulted because of the side effects they were experiencing from the drugs. But some also defaulted in fear of being dumped by their partners once they know they are on treatments,” she noted.

Chairlady for Tiyamike Support Group in the area of TA Mponda in Mangochi, Mary Taimu, said through the expertise they get from YONECO in the project, the groups also visit people who are sick to encourage them to go to the hospital to get tested from HIV/AIDS and start treatment.

"Sometimes, the members even take those who are sick to the hospital to get medical attention.  We also plant some herbs that we use to help in boosting our immunity as well sell some to small enterprises,” she explained.

Testifying to the problem of people defaulting from their medication, Amina Patrick, a defaulter from Ntcheu who has been on the life prolonging drugs for 12 years said her life was saved through the support groups.

"I defaulted from taking the drugs for three months because of the side effects that surfaced after 12 years of my taking them. But after seeing that my health was deteriorating, the support group members reached out to me and encourage me to continue my medication and that's why am alive today," she narrated.

YONECO is implementing the Investing for Impact against HIV/AIDS /TB Project with funding from Action Aid through Christian Aid.

The project was rolled out in 2016 and it is expected to phase out in December this year.

It is being implemented in Ntcheu, Ntchisi, Mangochi, Mulanje, Nkhatabay, Likoma Island, Zomba, Chiradzulu and Mchinji.

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