President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has hailed the United States government for its continued financial and technical support in the health sector.
He noted the support has improved health outcomes and management of HIV and Aids, Malaria and Tuberculosis, which he said were leading killer diseases in Malawi.
Mutharika made the remarks on Thursday at Sanjika Palace when he had an audience with the United States delegation where they discussed issues of collaboration in the fight against HIV and AIDS and the girl child education.
“Since we established bilateral ties and relations with the United States of America in 1964, your country has remained one of the biggest and most important bilateral development partners for Malawi.
“The United States of America has immensely supported the Malawi Government with various forms of support, such as humanitarian food assistance in the past two years, education, peace and security, and governance,”Mutharika said.
The President said he is delighted that the delegation recognizes the strides Malawi is making in the fight against HIV and Aids and its management through the various interventions it puts in place.
Ambassador-at-Large of the United States Government and Special Coordinator for Global Health Diplomacy and Global Aids Coordinator, Deborah Birx said they choose Malawi to be the first country to visit and work with the government and its communities because of its success stories in the areas of HIV and Aids.
“On the World Aids Day, Malawi released its results from a population based survey it conducted which indicated a 50 percent decline in the rate of HIV infection which is extraordinary.
“Additionally, Malawi at the beginning said it was not enough to treat people but to make sure that quality of the treatment is excellent, Birx noted.
The Ambassador cited the success of the Option B+ programme which offers lifelong treatment to all HIV-positive pregnant women, regardless of their CD4 levels so that they should protect their inborn babies from contracting the virus at the same time giving the mother value to thrive.
“The Global Fund and PEPFAR has invested highly and comprehensively in Malawi and we will continue as we see the progress it is making,” she said.
The US delegation comprised Virginia Palmer, Ambassador of the United States of America to Malawi, Girls not Bride, Global Partnership for Education, Global Fund, and the Presidents Emergency Plan for Aids Relief. (By Yamikani Yapuwa Blantyre, December 9, Mana)