VOA News Examines Initiative in Malawi That Provides Assistance To Wives of Prisoners, Aims To Prevent Spread of HIVVOA News on Thursday examined an initiative in Malawi that provides assistance to women whose husbands are in prison in part to prevent the spread of HIV. The initiative -- called the Women With Husbands in Prisons project and run by the Ali Moyo Interaction, Development and Support organization -- supplies women with food, clothing and shelter. The project aims to provide the women with such assistance so they do not engage in activities, such as commercial sex work, that can increase their risk of contracting HIV. Martin Jussa, founder of the project, said, "I was once arrested and at the end I [lost] my wife after problems which she faced while I was in prison. We are talking of food, shelter and clothing." He added, "It's very hard for someone who is not working to find those things since most of the women (in Malawi) wait for the husbands to be breadwinners. From there, you will find that the woman otherwise" starts engaging in commercial sex work, which can lead to the spread of HIV.
About 100 women are receiving assistance through the initiative, which also provides counseling to women when they join. The women also are provided with training on vocational skills, such as tailoring and gardening, to help them earn money. Volunteers with the initiative help repair houses and prepare agricultural fields for women who are unable to perform the tasks (Masina, VOA News, 4/3). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.