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Peer Navigators in Kasungu have agreed to venture into farming together with their clients as one way of fighting nutritional challenges among Men having Sex with Men (MSM) on ARVs in the district. The decision to venture into farming was made upon finishing Peer Navigators Training conducted in May by Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Africa Trust (SAT) in Salima District. At the training, one of the topics was ‘Nutrition’ and this opened up the eyes of the Peer Navigators who saw the need for combating nutrition for those taking ARV’s but they cannot afford nutritious food.

Meanwhile, the Peer Navigators have already started farming and selling vegetables.

The profits will be shared equally to the MSM clients who are HIV positive but cannot afford to buy decent food and other necessitates. One of the Peer Navigators, Peter Chidothi (Not real name), who has is also coordinating the initiative said “only those who are on treatment will be beneficiaries of the initiative”. He said they are doing that to encourage people who are not on treatment to start treatment.

Chidothi also said that, many people who are on treatment cannot manage to buy basic food to the extent that others go to bed without eating anything. This is not healthy for someone who is taking ARV’s because the drugs cannot function effectively in the body. The said initiative will reduce malnutrition to those taking the drugs.

The Peer Educators are also planning to start rearing animals, growing maize and groundnuts. The land and place for these activities has been provided by one of the Peer Navigator, Paul Phiri (Not real name). In total, 11 Peer Navigators and other MSM are the beneficiaries of this initiative under Global Fund Project being implemented by CEDEP with technical support from SAT.