Nancholi Youth Assume Life-saving Role

Treatment time Treatment time - pic by Faith Chikwewa

With two nurses, one clinician and HIV/AIDS counsellors, youth at Nancholi Township under Nancholi Youth Organization (NAYO) are saving lives in Blantyre.

They are taking health care services through mobile clinic to 28 villages in the township.

This has been a life-saving initiative to the vulnerable and isolated communities in the area who cannot afford to visit health facilities for medical attention.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), mobile clinics offer flexible and viable options for treating isolated and vulnerable groups of people; such as Margret Pupa.

Pupa, a Nancholi based woman, has been battling with blood pressure but failed to access proper health care.

“Everything halted at my home. I could not do farming activities; not even other economic activities because of my condition,” she says.

Pupa now tells a different story.

“I now do some works. I can now do farm activities. I can now draw water on my own. NAYO is treating me well and there is great improvement,” she says.

Pupa is one of many people who are getting palliative care from the youth group.

Since 2004, NAYO has been assisting the communities with health services in the region of palliative care, cancer treatment, Anti-Retroviral Therapy, Under Five clinic, Out-Patient Department, youth friendly Sexual Reproduction Health service and radio programs to amplify young voices.

One of the youth, whom we shall call Grace, testifies that the youth friendly services have opened her eyes on numerous issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.

“I have benefitted a lot from NAYO. I was able to get tested for HIV and know my status and counselling.

“I have been attending many trainings and discussions about HIV/AIDS and other critical issues. Now I am able to know how I can prevent lifestyles that can ruin my life,” says the 21 year old Grace.

NAYO Projects Officer, Faith Chikwewa, says they established the group after noting challenges that people living with HIV/AIDS were facing.

“We are looking forward to seeing more people accessing health services in different forms in our communities,” she says.

Chikwewa says inadequate resources is a stumbling block standing on their way to realize their dream of reaching out to more vulnerable groups with health care.

“We reach out to 28 villages with two nurses, one clinician and HIV/AIDS counsellors. Resources do not permit us to recruit more health workers to reach out to many people. We wish we could start admissions in future,” she says.

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