Chief Matanda of the Ushi people of Mansa district has yesterday led scores of his subjects to undergo Voluntary Counseling and Testing, VCT.

Chief Matanda volunteered to be tested for HIV as a measure of encouraging his
subjects to know their HIV status in efforts of curbing the further spread of the
disease in his chiefdom.

The ministry of health in partnership with other non governmental organisations
involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS embarked on a mobile VCT programme in Chief
Matanda’s area.

The venture took shape after Peace Corps Volunteer Lauren Schroeda based at Paul
Mambilima earlier spoke with the chief who volunteered to be the first  to undergo
the mobile VCT initiative.

Presenting a certificate of appreciation to Chief Matanda after he had taken the
VCT, Ms Schroeda said by being the first person to take the test, the chief
exhibited true leadership through his willingness to lead by example.

The mobile VCT programme was launched to create an alternative for the permanent VCT
facilities placed at Matanda Rural Health center situated 35 kilometres from the
chiefdom.

During the launch Chief Matanda encouraged his subjects to undergo VCT as that would
help them plan their future.

About 90 people in the area emulated the traditional leader to test for HIV.

The chief thanked the various stake holders involved in the campaign for coming to
implement their programme in his area saying the initiative would cater for people
living in far lung areas.

Mansa District Health  manger for planning and development, Rhoda Buleze, speaking
on behalf of the district Director of Health said government was committed working
with partners in addressing the HIV/AIDS problem in the country.

HCP District Programme Officer, Francesca Tembo, expressed gratitude at the active
participation of other stakeholders in the implementation of the project in the
area.

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