August 6, 2016 by Staff Reporter
Angry Patients at Zomba Mental Hospital have appealed to the Malawi government to provide condoms at the facility, Nyika Daily News has established.
According to Joseph Phiri (not real name), a patient at Zomba Mental Hospital, it is their plea to see Malawi government provide condoms to the facility.
“Zakudya amatipatsa komanso mankwala tikulandira. Ambirife tachira ndipo misala inatha tikungodikira tsiku lotuluka. Pempho lathu ku boma ndiloti atipatseko zishango tizipangira Mpira wachikulunga. Tikufuna tizitayitsa nthawi kusewera mpira popewa ma edzi,” explained Phiri, asking government to give them condoms to use to make local football for their free time play as they try to avoid HIV/Aids.
The provision of free condoms has been a major element of Malawi’s National HIV Prevention Strategy.
Nearly 21 million condoms were provided across Malawi in 2012/2013 , a big increase on previous years. However, there has been a decrease in the provision of female condoms.
Condom use remains low across Malawi, with only 27.3% of females and 24.5% of males with more than one sexual partner in the last 12 months reporting using a condom the last time they had sex.
Furthermore, disparities in condom use among young people are evident across Malawi, at only 40.5% among young men, and 31.4% among young women.
Chronic shortages of condoms have been reported as a major barrier to increasing the availability and accessibility of condoms across Malawi, impeding HIV prevention programmes.
Malawi’s HIV prevalence is one of the highest in the world, with 10.3% of the population living with HIV. Malawi accounts for 4% of the total number of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.
An estimated 1,000,000 Malawians were living with HIV in 2013 and 48,000 Malawians died from HIV-related illnesses in the same year.
The Malawian HIV epidemic plays a critical role in the country’s low life expectancy of just 54.8 years.