ResourceLinC has had the distinct pleasure of being introduced and establishing a very good working relationship with the National AIDS Commission Executive Director, the Ministry of Health and officials at the highest levels of the Malawi Defence, all of whom are committed to the elimination of HIV/ AIDS.
In our last visit, we were introduced to the person responsible for education programs in the Malawi Defence Force, and we have agreed to work as a team to incorporate some of our applications and technology into his courses. We were presented with the Malawi 5 year National AIDS strategy and letters of invitation from, the National AIDS Commission and the Ministry of Health and Technology to provide an expansion of our HIV/ AIDS program to the associated-military type personnel.
Malawi is not one of the poorest countries, but HIV/ AIDS is ravishing this otherwise well managed country. Malawi’s HIV/AIDS health indicators are very poor and in some cases still deteriorating. Life expectancy at birth is now only 39 years. 23 percent of children die before they reach the age of five years. Statistics indicate that 70 percent of inpatient deaths are due to pneumonia, malaria, tuberculosis, anemia, nutritional deficiencies and AIDS. Many of these adult diseases are associated with HIV infection, but because of the scarcity of HIV testing of inpatients, the majority of patients do not know if they are HIV positive or not.
Malawi has one of highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world, with 25+% percent of those aged 15-49 infected. By 2010, life expectancy will decline to 36.9 years from a projected 59.4 years without the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The very high rates of HIV prevalence (17.87 percent on average) in women of reproductive age, together with high fertility rates, imply high rates of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.
If military statistics hold true with military rates 2 to 5 times that of the general population, then the Malawi Defence Force is facing a frightening situation. It is our desire to work with Malawi to design and implement a solid and innovative HIV/ AIDS education, awareness and prevention program for the uniformed members of their military that will increase the capacity of peer-educators to over 140. In spite of a National HIV/ AIDS strategy and Malawi's efforts to implement their own program, they have admitted that more needs to be done. ResourceLinC in our research have seen those countries that are reducing their HIV/AIDS rates as having a greater presence in the field, touching and counseling people In a recent report in Barcelona, in spite of the tremendous awareness about HIV/AIDS less than 40% of the people know is knowledgeable of the modes of transmission..
It is our sincere hope that given our relationships with the Malawi officials, the success of our program in Botswana and the resources which we can bring to the table, that ResourceLinC will be given the opportunity to continue our work with Malawi.
Our blend of content expertise, on-ground relationships and technology products offers a unique and powerful solution that will deliver results! Our expertise in technology design will enable us to establish database configurations to ensure that our program is tracking behavior activities that will accurately reflect areas of success or areas for attention.
Our solution takes the best of the available technologies such as television, which delivers visual impact to retain human interest, audio/ radio and printed brochures will offer the broadest reach to meet virtually everyone's educational and understanding thresholds.
This multimedia delivery vehicle will deliver HIV and AIDS education, awareness and prevention material which can be re-heard, re-read and re-seen. This will encourage voluntary adherence, continued learning and re-enforcement of behavioral change to avoid the devastating effects HIV and AIDS can have on not only themselves but their babies, wives and their country. Our message will strongly state that they alone, have the ability to kill their families and to destroy their beloved country.