Adult education

Never Too Old or Too Young to Learn || New HIV Manual for School Could Change the Health Landscape of Malawi

Posted by Letswalo L Marobane on 09 December 2022, 15:10 SAST
Letswalo L Marobane photo

A participant keenly following the discussions during the workshop

Did you know that a third of HIV infections in adults are among young women aged 15-24?  Did you know that women are almost twice as likely to have HIV as men? These alarming facts underscore the urgent need to address societal and structural barriers, including economic and legal constraints, to access equitable HIV prevention, treatment, and care.

In response, the FutureLife-Now! programme in Malawi, through the Ministry of Education and in partnership with the Ministry of Health, developed an HIV manual tailored for use by school health and nutrition (SHN) teachers and youth facilitators.

Both SHN teachers and youth facilitators play a crucial role in transforming the health landscape by providing HIV-related information, increasing access to ART, encouraging adherence, as well as reducing new HIV infections.

“I am so thrilled about the sustainable impact this training manual will have for adolescents and young people. Even more exciting is the impact that will transcend beyond the FutureLife-Now! programme,” said Maziko Matemvu, health coordinator for FutureLife-Now! in Malawi.

Workshop participants pictured during the training

The first training course in the use of this new manual took place from 24 to 28 September 2022. Twenty SHN teachers and nine youth facilitators took part. On the first day of the workshop, the workshop facilitator asked participants what their expectations were. It was clear from the expressions on participants’ faces that they were not completely on board. The responses revealed a common belief that the teachers were already equipped with adequate information about HIV and didn’t understand why they had to undergo this training. However, by the last day of the workshop, their perceptions had made a 180-degree shift and everyone agreed that “no one is too young nor too old to learn”.

“I didn’t think I would find the training beneficial, but I was wrong,” said Bwaila Secondary School teacher, Chance Kamwambi. “I have learned new information and updated my approach in supporting learners living with HIV. I did not realize I had deep-seated biases that were tainting my views and impacting on the information I had on HIV.”

Felistous Soko, FutureLife-Now! youth facilitator for Mbinzi Secondary School, said, “As a youth facilitator, I feel more confident to execute my duties and complement existing interventions, both in school and out of school. This training was awesome!”

Matemvu summed up the initiative stating that although the training has ended, the work has just begun for SHN teachers, youth facilitators and their key partners. “Together they will be contributing to the HIV response as drivers of change and not passive stakeholders.”

There are no comments

Sign in to add your comment.

Recent Posts

Day 3 of the CSTL & Futurelife-Now! Sharing Meeting
Day 3 of the #CSTL & Futurelife-Now! Sharing Meeting has begun! Starting the day is Mphumi Maesela...
read more
Day 2 of the CSTL & FutureLife-Now! Sharing Meeting
Day 2 of the CSTL & FutureLife-Now! Sharing Meeting has begun! Follow updates on...
read more
Update: CSTL and FutureLife-Now! sharing meeting update
Preventing school-related gender-based violence – Connect with Respect Tool Group exercise at...
read more
Update: Materials and resources on display at this year's CSTL and FutureLife-Now!
read more
NOW LIVE! FutureLife-Now & CSTL Sharing Meeting taking place in Durban, South Africa.
The purpose is to facilitate learning amongst all SADC Member States, through the sharing of...
read more
Youth health and wellbeing: advocacy at the highest level | FutureLife-Now! on the programme at the SADC Health Ministers in Angola
As the current chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), 2023 was Angola’s turn to...
read more
Happiness begins with good health | FutureLife-Now! organises school-based health jamborees in Zambia
David Ramushu Secondary School in Kabwe is situated in one of the most lead-polluted areas in...
read more
From boys’ mentorship clubs to publishing a book | Behind masculinity—The reality: A teenager becomes a published author
These days, young people are so often urged to “dream big”, yet for whatever reason—lack of...
read more
Putting climate education into climate action | Planting and growing trees at Fobane High School in Lesotho
As one of the FutureLife-Now! Phase 1 pilot schools, Fobane High School bears witness to the...
read more
Young people unite for climate action | Learners at schools in Malawi engage in virtual discourses for climate resilience
The effects of climate change are increasingly felt across the globe, not least in southern Africa....
read more

Go to blog