Bantwana World Education Initiative through Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) is set to roll ‘Ana Patsogolo’ (APA) project which aims at preventing new HIV infections and support case management for adolescents living with the virus in Blantyre.
In her presentation on Wednesday during a District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting, Bantwana Technical Lead responsible for Prevention Services, Marriam Mangochi said the US$32 million (equivalent to K24 billion) five-year project targets about 23,000 beneficiaries.
“Blantyre is the hub of high volumes of HIV and Aids; therefore, the project aims at facilitating testing for children and adolescents at risk of HIV infection and facilitate linkage to treatment and improving support and case management for vulnerable children and adolescents living with HIV,” said Mangochi.
She said the project will support government to strengthen and operationalize multi-sector coordination from national to community level and enhance child protection systems.
District Social Welfare Officer for Blantyre, Stephano Joseph described the project as key to child protection case management as an approach to improving the lives of orphans and vulnerable children.
“The project will ensure that child protection service points such as community victim support units, One Stop Centres and child protection workers are fully utilized and that cases are attended to in a coordinated manner to strengthen and improve service delivery,” said Joseph.
He therefore, said the district expected that child protection information management system would be reinforced to improve the well-being of the infected and affected children.
In his remarks, District Environmental Officer for Blantyre, Maxwell Mbulaje, who chaired the meeting, urged implementing partners of the project to report to the council quarterly so that areas that need to be improved and noted were rectified in time.
Mbulaje, however, assured that the council would render the project all the necessary support for its smooth implementation.
“The council will be committed throughout the project because partners such as Bantwana are essential in complementing government efforts of ensuring that every child is protected and accorded all their necessary rights,” Mbulaje said.
The project which is expected to be implemented in the districts of Chikwawa and Mulanje besides Blantyre from October this year is jointly funded by US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).