Mother and Child Rights

Comprehensive and appropriate development for effective results
“We have seen it time and time again in the AIDS response, if you put rights, equality and dignity of women first, you will see results.”
Mahesh Mahalingam, Director, Office of the UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director

 A Demographic Health Survey of Malawi in 2004 has shown that HIV prevalence even with school enrolments quite low, the education sector represents the most effective way to reach a large proportion of children and young people to inform them of ways to avoid HIV infection.

Poor Reproductive Health remains the leading cause of ill-health and death for women od child bearing age throughout the world. They suffer from sexually transmitted infections including HIV and gender related violence. The malawian government has developed. a Sexual and reproductive Hhealth poloicywhich includes rights to support reproductive health services. We will follow this policy closely.
                   Despite this policy, young people have not been able to access adequate information to understand key sexual health risks. A
Democratic Health Survey in Malawi in 2004 has shown that HIV prevalence in girls 15-19 years is 3.7% and 0.7% for boys. In the older group, 20-24 years, the rates were 13.2% for women and 3.9% for men. Even with school enrolments quite low, the education sector represents the most effective way to reach a large proportion of children and young people to inform them of ways to avoid HIV infection. The education sector is a channel for promoting HIV awareness to a large audience or readership. Not only can teachers, administrators and pupils at all levels be reached, but also parents and other family members.
                  To have maximum impact, governments need a strong commitment to appropriate sexual health and rights awareness programmes. Similar attitudes toward young girls are clearly relevant in Malawi, UK and elsewhere.

A publication in the Lancet from USAIDS (Lancet Commissions) provides Key recommendations (published on line, 25th June 2015) www.the lancet.com

•Get serious about HIV prevention—including combination prevention—and continue the expansion of access to treatment, while also working to address structural determinants of health that put people at risk
Forge new paths to uphold human rights and address criminalisation, stigma, and discrimination using practical approaches to change laws, policies, and public attitudes that violate human rights
Urgently ramp up and fully fund AIDS efforts efficiently, and emphasise sustainability; the next 5 years present a window of opportunity to scale up the AIDS response to end AIDS as a public health problem by 2030; failing to do so, and to continue the already significant efforts, will increase the number of deaths and new HIV infections by 2020
Demand robust accountability, transparency, and better data; this relies on fresh processes and mechanisms to enable more transparent data review, improve research on high-risk populations, and link data to policies and programmes
Reinforce and renew the leadership and engagement of people living with HIV, strengthening and expanding their decision-making roles in policy design, implementation, and evaluation, and invest in activism as a global public good
Invest in research and innovation in all facets of the AIDS response; an effective vaccine and a cure remain priorities, and others include epidemiological studies of high-risk populations and hot spots, socio-behavioural research, implementation research, and country-specific research on how services are delivered across health care
Promote more inclusive, coherent, and accountable AIDS and health governance; establish a multi-stakeholder, multi sector platform to address determinants of health.