Chief Mwanachingwala of Mazabuka says the Zambia Demographic and Health survey being jointly conducted by the Ministry of Health and Central Statistical Office may not achieve its intended goals because of lack of seriousness.

The Chief told ZANIS in Mazabuka today that it was unreasonable for the Ministry of
Health to embark on such a sensitive survey where people would be required to test
for HIV and sexually transmitted infections without sensitisation.

He said people in his chiefdom who have been targetted under the survey were not
ready to be tested adding that forcing them to test for HIV would be a violation of
human rights.

Chief Mwanachingwala was reacting to his subjects at Shimungalu fishing camp who
told ZANIS that they would flee their villages once the survey starts.

The villagers who sought anonymity told ZANIS that the survey being conducted was
meant to obtain blood for ritual and satanism purpose.

And Chief Mwanachingwala said he would not allow the Ministry of Health and Central
Statistical Officers to conduct HIV or STIs tests because such tests were
voluntarily done.

Meanwhile, the sensitisation programmes on the Zambia Demographic Survey have hit
snag in Mazabuka because of lack of funds.

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  1. The way the chief has reacted to this survey it shows how un ethical people want to be in terms of things that would help them and thier families.Resarch can never be accurate without conducting of surveys. Informed consent is a way the researchers will proceed or not after the participants voluntarily choose.Wake people and choose development and not certain old notions that will never benefit you.


  2. This is a real dilemma for the DHS. I agree that sensitization is crucial here but credibility of surveyors is absolutely crucial. The chief is right in demanding right of consent. But then, the DHS runs a risk of collecting blood only from those who have a very low self-assessed risk of infection thereby under-estimatng the HIV prevalence rate in the country.
    How was this survey done reportedly successfully in 2001-2?



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