Lilongwe City commemorates WAD

The City of Lilongwe on Saturday conducted a number of activities to mark the 2019 World AIDS Day (WAD).

The activities started with a march from Ngwenya Trading Centre in the Area 24 location and climaxed into speeches by senior dignitaries at Sese Ground in the Township.

WAD, which is designated on 1st December every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness on the AIDS epidemic.

In Malawi, the national year-long campaign was launched at Ngolowindo Ground in Salima on 1st December 2019, and different institutions have been commemorating the day ever since.

Held under the theme “Communities make the difference”, the main events for Lilongwe City Council WAD took place at Sese Ground where people were entertained with poetry and drama as well as listened to speeches.

Guest of Honour at the event, who is also Lilongwe City Deputy Mayor, Councillor Richard Banda said the day was important as it created an opportunity to raise awareness on a number of issues around the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

He said this year’s theme sought to highlight the fact that the fight against HIV and AIDS cannot be won without the contributions of individuals who make up various communities.

National AIDS Commission Director of Programmes Mrs Chimwemwe Mablekisi said there was need to enhance response issues in cities because they were attractions to various spheres of people that usually face a number of challenges.

“Cities are dynamic centres of economic growth, education, innovation and positive social change where people bring their hopes and aspirations for a better life.

“This exposes cities to challenges such as social and economic inequalities, poverty and over-crowding, violence, human rights abuses as well as stigma and discrimination. These limit access to health services by urban dwellers,” said Mablekisi.

She added that this is the reason the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), together with cities and municipalities around the world, launched the Paris Declaration on Fast Track Cities Initiative in 2014.

This initiative aims at ending the AIDS epidemic in cities by 2030.

During Saturday’s event, several organisations displayed pavilions where dignitaries were briefed on what they do in participating in the National Response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

 

Posted on Feb 19, 2020 Written By Karen Msiska