By Evance Chisano
National AIDS Commission (NAC) Head of Coordination and Capacity Building, Tione Chilambe Friday said there was need for partners working in HIV and AIDS programming to coordinate their activities for effectiveness and efficiency HIV and AIDS district response.
She made the remarks in Mangochi at district joint review meeting for coordinating committees, non medical and bio medical HIV and AIDS response structures.
Making presentations in turns, District Coordinating Committees, Civil Society Organizations, Youth and CBO networks revealed weak coordination such that it was observed that there was minimal community level structures involvement on HIV and AIDS response by implementing partners plus little peer programming on Sexual Reproductive Health among young people.
Chilambe called for renewed commitment in the HIV and AIDS district response by ensuring good coordination and Civil Societys involvement of community and facility level structures such as Community Based Organizations and Hospital Advisory and Management Committees.
“Involvement of community and facility based groups is crucial,” she said after observing that some implementing partners form parallel structures or bypass existing groups when implementing HIV and AIDS response projects in health facilities and communities.
Chilambe noted that by passing such groups amounts to ineffective and inefficiency HIV and AIDS response with poor client coverage and tracing in cases of defaulters.
She said more needs to be done to address issues of client defaults, unmanageable data in health facilities, poor coordination among coordinating and implementing committees and non-involvement of community level structures.
An official for Mangochi District Hospital, Dr. Charles Tembo hailed NAC coordination and capacity building unit for visiting Mangochi saying the meeting provided a forum to discuss strength and success in the HIV and AIDS response at district level.
“Youve seen our challenges and you now know where to come in,” he said, adding that the district would reflect on the weaker areas and pledged to improve for the better to ensure effective district response.
The Coordination and Capacity Building team visited Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Zomba and Machinga before visiting Mangochi in the south while other NAC teams were visiting northern region for district joint review meeting before the national review meeting soon.
NAC was established to lead in providing leadership, technical guidance and coordinating the national response to HIV and AIDS