It has been revealed that defaulter rate for Patients on Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) in Ntcheu is pegged at 40 per cent which is threatening the attainment of 90:90:90 HIV initiatives.

ART Coordinator for Ntcheu, Dave Muhasuwa disclosed this during a joint review of TB and HIV Global Fund Program.

He said over 53, 000 patients were put on ART treatment but only 32,000 were accessing the drugs from various outreach points in the district.

“Some patients on treatment provided health facilities with wrong addresses for their locations hence making the follow visits very difficult,” Muhasuwa said

He added they are facing challenges in updating their data because the system breaks down and bemoaned lack of adequate laboratory technicians in blood testing section.

Manet + Resource Mobilization and Advocacy Officer, Lyness Soko said HIV patients are always encouraged to stay health and administer their drugs on daily basis.

Action Aid Program Officer, Kondwani Mushali “we have been using Care groups and client experts to raise awareness among communities on the need to go for HIV and TB tests once they notice strange signs and symptoms.”

Speaking at the same function TB Coordinator for Ntcheu Sydreck Golden said establishment of Sputum collecting centres is helping to identify patients.

He said “the first quarter of 2019 had registered 86 cases which is slightly higher as compared to 69 cases during the same period last year.”

Golden expressed concern over lack of specialized wards for proper management of TB cases.

District Health Officer for Ntcheu, Bosco Kalua said Community Based Organizations, religious leaders and traditional healers need to play their rightful role to compliment efforts being done by health personnel in the disease.