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article imageMalawi Muslims united in fighting HIV AIDS Special

By Chancy Namadzunda     Mar 21, 2011 in Health
Lilongwe - They may differ in ideologies and some beliefs, but when it comes to fighting the deadly HIV /AIDS pandemic, the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) and Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM) have united to counter attack the pandemic.
In an interview, both QMAM Chairman Alhaji Alid Likonde and his MAM counterpart Alhaji Yusuf Kanyamula emphasized the point that the disease is spreading at an alarming speed in their communities hence the need of collective efforts.
The two camps have collaborated in implementing a Community Based Family Planning, HIV and AIDS (CFPHS) project which is aimed at engaging religious leaders from the Muslim communities as part of on-going advocacy efforts to raise awareness about correct Islamic teachings on these key health issues.
“We would like to share Islamic-friendly FP and HIV and AIDS information, education and communication materials that provide key messages which are important tools for communicating these messages in the communities. These teachings will primarily be based from the Qur’an and Ahadiths as a secondary source,” said Kanyamula.
The project which will be carried in eight southern and central districts in the country is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with technical assistance from the Ministry of Health.
“We felt that despite our differences, as religious leaders, we play a vital role in sustaining community social norms and essential partners in introducing change and dispelling myths and misconceptions and FP and HIV/AIDS,” added Likonde.
In Malawi, HIV prevalence rate is at 12 percent with 110,000 new infections annually, 46 percent occurring among young people aged between 15 to 24 years while 60 percent of the new infections occur in women according to the National AIDS Commission (NAC).
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