A circle of benches sits outside in a community in northern Malawi. Not far away, wooden seats surround a local school. Over the past three decades, thousands of women, men and children affected by HIV and AIDS have accessed holistic support to have healthier, more abundant lives—right in their own communities. While the din in these places has decreased since the onset of COVID-19, Ekwendeni Hospital AIDS Program’s vital work, supported by PWS&D, continues to reach vulnerable people with social, economic and health support.
A Tough Spot
In Malawi, with numbers on the rise, COVID-19 has hit over 800 people, 11 of whom have passed away. Many others are facing the effects of the virus on their ability to meet their needs: with markets and other businesses closed many people have lost their jobs, resulting in whole families having no income—the ability to buy food is a huge concern for many. Even as people stay home, living in close quarters with other households makes it hard to practice social distancing.
For women, men and children already vulnerable because of the effects of HIV/AIDS, the concern of not being able to access the medication or community assistance they rely on is piled on top of their fear of getting COVID-19. Recognizing that need has only increased in their community, the Ekwendeni Hospital AIDS Program (EHAP) is responding.
“Since the beginning of the outbreak… [we have] never stopped working.”
Before COVID-19 hit, strides were being made in many communities to build a healthier, more food secure situation for those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Hoping to maintain this progress, through the program smaller self-help groups still support local entrepreneurs. Socially-distanced cooking demonstrations remain important for helping families effectively use the resources they have in front of them. EHAP has also helped ensure that hospital staff have PPE so they can keep providing services to people in need.
To support PWS&D’s ongoing COVID-19 response, please make a donation today by clicking below or calling us at 1-800-619-7301 or 416-441-1111 x291. Please include “COVID Response” in the designation field.