Albarakah Charity Trust a faith based non-governmental organization providing social services to the community in Malawi with emphasis on education, health and relief joined the World to commemorate this year’s World Aids day.
The function was held at its head offices at Zomba development and Education Centre (ZODEC) Multipurpose Hall on Saturday 1st December, 2012 with the Theme” Getting to Zero; Zero new HIV Infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths”
Speaking during the function the Executive Director of Albarakah Charity Trust Ibrahim Milazi said his organization commemorates National Aids day every year because health is one of Albarakah component it undertake in its programs. Mr Milazi said that as faith based organization it has a duty to assist government in providing health services to the citizenry and in making sure that people are living healthily.
He said Albarakah has a policy that makes sure there is no discrimination in the organization and that through its clinics it provide free ARVs to people and staff who are HIV positive to prevent AIDS related deaths. The director urged people to make sure that they should not indulge in sexual behavior when they are in groups and that mixing between men and women, boys and girls when they are doing their performances pauses a threat to contacting HIV virus.
“One of the factors that lead to contact of HIV is the unnecessary mix-up of boys and girls in different groupings. It is not good that we are raising awareness to people yet ourselves are indulging to malpractice which leads to contacting the virus,” said Mr. Milazi.
In his speech Zomba City AIDS coordinator Mr Innocent Malomo who was the Guest Speaker during the function, urged organizations involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS to be self reliant and not to rely on donors for sustainability of the projects and if the fight against HIV/AIDS pandemic to be achieved.
Mr Malomo bemoaned the high rate of HIV/ AIDS prevalence among the women due to men who have got a tendency of sleeping with more than one woman and that the men are living in denial.
“Most men are reluctant to go for HIV testing and they wait for their spouses to go for HIV test first and depend on the outcome from the women testing to determine their status. This is wrong, we are all required to undergo for HIV testing to prevent new HIV infections,” said Malomo.
He therefore encouraged men to go for HIV testing to know their status. He then urged the community to stop discrimination against those living with HIV/AIDS.
During the function, there were lectures presented by different scholars on topics such as HIV/AIDS prevention, HIV/AIDS and Nutrition, HIV/AIDS and discrimination and HIV/AIDS and Islam. There were also dramas, comedies, poems, testimonies from people living positive and those affected by the pandemic.
The commemoration of World AIDS day in Albarakah is done each and every year in only two centres where the clinics are operating. However this year’s commemoration is a step forward as it has been conducted in all Albarakah centers. Present at the function were Chairman of Albarakah Council Sheikh Yusuf Osman, MAM District Chairman for Zomba D.S Konda, CBOs, Chiefs and communities from surrounding villages.
Written by Cassim Chilimba