Apart from displacing and killing people, Malawi24 has established that the floods that hit Mzuzu have affected people living with HIV.
In a recent spot check, our team discovered that most HIV patients are not free to take ARVs for fear of being observed by their colleagues in camps where they are currently seeking refuge.
Speaking in an interview recently at Kawuwa camp, a woman confessed how hard it becomes for one to take these pills among colleagues who are not HIV positive.
“It’s generally hard to do so because usually being HIV positive remains confidential thus there is fear that if one takes ARVs at a camp, friends may observe him and start publicizing about his status,” she said.
This has made many patients to hide these pills from their camp mates. Evidently, they do not have the guts to take them at such a public place. However, the situation is risky to the lives of these patients if what medics at Mzuzu health centre said is to go by.
Timothy Banda, a nurse at the facility emphasized that it is not recommended for a patient on ARVs to be skipping the recommended dosage.
“That is worrisome and these patients must know that skipping ARV dosage can cost life thus they must brave the shame and lengthen their lives by taking these drugs,” he maintained.
Nonetheless, most patients cannot afford to brave the shame at this relatively public space.
They still feel insecure and the best thing they can only manage is to pretend being virus free to fit the environment. But programs manager for MANET+ Eddie Banda described the tendency as risky and worrisome.
He urged the patients to stop the shyness and love their lives.
“Sometimes it may happen that the person you are afraid of is equally positive, then why having shy to take ARVs? I urge them to start taking the drugs now,” he said.
On the other hand, he urged government to implement some ways which can assist these patients in accessing the drugs.
“They are gathered there but some were collecting these drugs in their respective areas thus government must consider looking on that,” he added.
With the torrential rains in the northern region, floods continue to affect more people in numerous ways.
Some continue to lose their properties and other essential belongings.
However, the department of meteorology has predicted more rains in this region owing to the rain belt that has been observed in east Africa, where people are still receiving more rains.