MANET+ trains support groups on community score card

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Malawi Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (MANET+) has challenged communities to hold service providers accountable for them to receive desirable services while tracking progress of activities in their own community.

MANET+ Executive Director Lawrence Khonyongwa was speaking in an interview on Wednesday at the start of a four day training workshop for Support Groups in Nsanje district.

“It was important to provide information that would give rights holders (people on the receiving end of care) to hold duty bearers accountable,” said Khonyongwa.

He said at the end of the training the people on the receiving end will gain advocacy skills which will help improve health service delivery in Nsanje district.

Khonyongwa advised the participants to understand the rationale behind the Score Card way of tracking progress as a way that bring service users and service providers to realize their strengths and inefficiencies for a common good.

“Sometimes it is (Score Card) regarded as a tug of war, but that is not the essence because in the end it gives solutions to the challenges we meet,” said the MANET+ executive director.

In his speech, District Aids Coordinator for Nsanje, McKnowledge Tembo, bemoaned failure of functioning of community structures such as Community Based Organizations (CBOs) as a setback in implementing some activities.

“Over ten thousand HIV positive individuals are not on ART in the district, but how do we manage to trace them if the CBOs are not properly functioning due to lack of funds?’ wondered Tembo.

He said if care is not taken to address the problems that are at grassroots, the anticipated 90-90-90 will not be achieved.

He added that Nsanje has its own challenges that need to be addressed separately, therefore taking into consideration of what their problems are would greatly serve them.

In an interview, President for Support Groups in the district Elizabeth Mandala applauded MANET+ for the training.

“It has given us the mandate to meet authorities and demand services we want and things that we feel are not going on alright in our area.

“This will coerce duty bearers to write proposals that will provide more support to meet the services we want,” said Mandala.

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