Introducing Muslim Sisters AIDS Network (MUSANET)

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Brief Background

As HIV and AIDS continue to claim lives of the most productive

individuals in society and the women in particular have not been

spared of this pandemic. children too, continue to suffer silently and

their vulnerability is getting critical each day. HIV and AIDS affect

families, parents die and leave children orphaned and become

vulnerable to HIV and AIDS through early marriages, school dropout due

to financial support hence many child headed households.

The death of a husband in a family impacts seriously on wives and the

children as traditionally men in Malawi are regarded as bread winners

hence the vulnerability of women as they are prone to dependency

syndrome. Muslim women as is the case with the rest of the women in

Malawi and the world as a whole, are also subjected to a number of

gender-based violence perpetrated by their partners. Culturally it

becomes difficult for women to talk about domestic violence when they

go through such experiences.

It is from this background that Muslim Sisters Aids Network was

established in September 2008, with an aim of getting Muslim women

reorganised and begin addressing burning issues that impact

negatively on women and children, HIV and AIDS prevention and

education and promote behaviour change through strategies conducive

and Islamically friendly to them.

MUSANET was established following a successful workshop co-organised

by Mai Aisha Trust and Muslim AIDS Programme of South Africa which was

held in August, 2008.

MUSANET is a member of the Blantyre City Assembly and has since

organized some charity works and participated in the 2008 World AIDS

Day on 1st December, 2008.

Aims and Objectives

The aim is to sensitise the community, particularly women and children

on the dangers of HIV and AIDS through prevention education and

behaviour change strategies.

Objectives

• To break the culture of silence and allow women and children freely

discuss the HIV and AIDS pandemic

• To promote love, care and support to people affected and infected

with HIV and AIDS

• To reduce element of stigma and discrimination among women and the

community in general

• To promote and protect the rights and image of women in the advent

of HIV and AIDS

• To address issues of domestic violence

• To promote health-seeking behaviors among women

• To encourage women to go for HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT)

• To build capacity and promote self-esteem among women and the youth

• To create an enabling environment for women to engage in small-scale

businesses

• To campaign for elimination of Mother- to Child transmition of HIV

and AIDS virus, Nutrition and Vitamin A deficiency by encouraging the

use of health services.

• To promote home based care, orphan care, elderly and disabled care.

MUSANET aims at expanding its programmes beyond the city of Blantyre

so that it reaches out to the rural masses that are equally affected

by the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

Networking

Since its inception MUSANET is already working in partnership with

seven (7) Women groups. This is evident that MUSANET and other women

groups are ready to work together in order to address social, economic

and spiritual issues affecting their people.

Conclusion

MUSANET will appreciate receiving feedbacks, comments and opinions

from partners and stakeholders interested in our programme.

Individuals may wish to call the below numbers for more information.

Muslim Sisters Aids Network
P.O. Box 497, Blantyre
Cell: 0888789944/01848069/01848059/0888307106
Fax:01 840 560
Email :Musanet08@gmail.com