BLANTYRE--Chief Chiwalo of Phalombe has attributed the continuing spread of HIV and Aids in Malawi to the use of condoms.
The traditional leader made the remarks this week at a joint HIV and Aids annual conference organised by the National Aids Commission in Lilongwe.
Traditional Authority Chiwalo said Chiefs have given up a lot of customs and traditions which are believed to contribute to the spread of HIV. He said the culture of using condoms is not helping in the fight of the pandemic.
“Chikhalidwe ichi cha azungu cha makondomu chikupangitsa ana ndi mabanja kusakhulupirika (This foreign culture of using condoms is making our children and couples not to be faithful)," he said.
Amid murmuring, he also attacked government wondering why it doen’t recognise traditional healers who claim to have found Aids cure.
Chief Chiwalo chose to speak in Chichewa claiming it was part of Malawian culture and that foreigners living in Malawi needed to learn to speak and understand it.
He noted that the fight against HIV and Aids cannot be won if the condom culture is not stopped.
Reacting to the Chiefs remarks, Deputy Secretary for Nutrition, HIV and AIDS, Norman Mwambakulu said government wasn’t sidelining traditional healers in the fight against the scourge.
He said research was still going on and that government could not get it from traditional healers about the discovery of Aids cure.
“We have to know that HIV and Aids was discovered by scientists and they will be the ones to tell us about the discovery of its cure,” he told the conference.
Mwambakulu said no traditional or religious leader discovered HIV and Aids so it would be better to leave it to the scientists to spell out any discovered cure on the same. He also said the use of condoms was not compulsory but by choice.
“Condoms are there to save lives. Our children are living in a rather different era than we used to. Children have a lot of information at their disposal, hence use of condoms is necessary to protect, not only the young ones but even adults from the pandemic,” concluded Mwambakulu.
The conference that dwelt on reviewing progress or impact reports on various interventions in the fight against HIV and Aids, drew participants from the National Aids Commission, government and the donor community.