2024-06-13

GAIA responds to Devaluation, surges Upkeep allowances up

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By Antony Isaiah Jr

The Global Aids Interfaith Alliance (GAIA), an organisation which strives at addressing the social determinants of health has announced the increment of the annual Upkeep allowances for the University students by 40 per cent.

The development has seen the Upkeep allowances hiking from K250, 0000 that students used to receive from GAIA to K350, 000 annually.

While announcing the development to the students, Chimwemwe Mwangonde, GAIA Malawi Project Officer Nursing said they have considered to add on to the annual Upkeep due to the rising cost of the commodities.

“Looking at the rise in various commodity prices we have added MK100,000 to your annual upkeep. This translates to Mk175,000 per semester,” said Mwangonde.

Beneficiaries of GAIA said they are thankful to the organisation for considering it, saying the K125, 0000 that they were receiving per semester previously was not enough due to the drastic rising cost of commodities which is secondary to devaluation of Malawi Kwacha.

“GAIA is a parent that hears cries of its children. A positive development. We run shot of words on how best we can appreciate GAIA’s effort and consideration. We are very grateful for this wonderful surprise,” said Eddison Mateyu, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS).

Months ago, the Government of Malawi announced the increment of the annual Upkeep allowances from K200, 000 to K350, 000 that they provide the University students with through the Higher Education Students Loans and Grants Board.

GAIA aligns its work with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Malawi Ministry of Health and Population’s strategic priorities. They work with local communities, governments and implementation partners to move towards Universal Health Coverage of quality, equitable, and affordable healthcare to improve the population’s health status.

Over the next five years, GAIA will leverage their credibility, connections, and capacity to accelerate our programmatic impact.

The organisation was lunched in 2000 by Episcopal priest Bill Rankin and renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Charlie Wilson to increase health equity globally and to bring life-saving treatment to one of the countries most impacted by the AIDS epidemic.

Malawi is one of the first African countries to meet UNAIDS 2020 90-90-90 treatment targets, even in the most remote districts with the highest HIV prevalence, where GAIA work.

Throughout their history, GAIA has adapted their services to provide compassionate, patient-centred healthcare to meet immediate needs while strengthening Malawi’s healthcare workforce for the long term.

In 2007, GAIA Malawi was formally established as an independent, but closely aligned, entity to the U.S. organization. 

With its own self-selected Board of Directors and a 100% Malawian staff, GAIA Malawi works closely with GAIA U.S. to design and execute cost-effective program responses to the evolving health needs of Malawi’s rural population.

All program interventions are developed with key input from the communities served and executed in partnership with the Government of Malawi, the Ministry of Health and Population, and local and international partners.

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