Monday, January 07, 2008
Malawi pays HIV positive civil servants extra
Malawi, with a population of around 13 million people is one of the African countries hardest hit by HIV/Aids. Now Health Minister Marjorie Ngaunje has announced that in a bid to improve the nutrition of civil servants, they will earn an extra 5,000 Malawi Kwacha a month.
She urged those civil servants who are HIV positive to register for the scheme. This would mean an extra US$35 for the civil servants, who usually earn around US$200 a month, Reuters reports.
One has to wonder at the motive behind this move. Is it to identify HIV sufferers by enticing them to give up their anonymity?
Malawi is a buckling under the weight of the pandemic which is killing 10 people an hour, according to official estimates. Surely this money that would go to thousands of civil servants would be better spent in retro viral medicines for those who needed it? Probably not. It is not likely that Malawians are getting the medicines they need, and a boost to nutrition would be one of the ways of promoting health.