Mara Kumbweza Banda

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Living with HIV for the past 19 years, Mara Kumbweza Banda is a highly motivated individual and a TB survivor. In 2003, Mara founded Paradiso TB Patients Trust for affected people and women led organizations to respond to TB and HIV in her community.  The organization has grown into a local NGO and is now operational in seven districts across Malawi. Mara has been involved in issues of Accessibility of HIV and TB service including advocating for free ART services and HIV and TB integration in Malawi.  Mara has facilitated trainings for grassroots women living with HIV across Malawi to reduce stigma and discrimination and address gender inequality. Aside from being a founder of an HIV/TB response organization, Mara has served as a Board Chairperson for the National AIDS Commission (NAC) for six years and acted as the Chairperson for Malawi Network of AIDS Service Organization for nine years. Mara currently serves on the Malawi CCM, SADC GFRCM and MOH related Technical Working Groups. A Malawian residing in Lilongwe, Mara has worked in several International NGO’s such as; UNICEF, USAID and EU in administrative positions.  Mara holds a Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in International Relations and Diplomacy.