Chikwawa Diocese of the catholic Church, through its Social Services Directorate, has launched an HIV project to prevent new infections among children in the district.
The project is also expected to reduce vulnerability among orphans and vulnerable children as well as adolescent girls and young women.
In an interview, project assistant manager Lewis Msiyadungu said the five-year project targets at least 10 000 HIV positive orphans and vulnerable children and adolescent girls aged between zero and 18.
He said: "We are also addressing cases of sexual violence and gender-based violence (GBV) among orphans and vulnerable children and adolescent girls and young women.
"We will also enhance child protection systems by building capacity of local organisations."
Chikwawa district director of planning and development Thokozile Ngwila said the project came at the right time when the district was grappling with GBV and rising HIV infections.
"I urge district stakeholders to support the project for implementation," she said.
The Ana Patsogolo Project seeks to build the capacity of caregivers, vulnerable families and health workers and is being implemented in partnership with World Education Inc/Bantwana with Funding from USaid and President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.