First-Lady, Esther Lungu, has arrived in Livingstone to officiate at the commemoration of the national World Aids Day that falls tomorrow.
Mrs Lungu arrived aboard a Zambia Air Force plane and was accompanied by Livingstone Central Member of Parliament, Lawrence Evans and other senior government officials.
Speaking when he briefed her on the Aids situation in the city, Livingstone District Medical Officer, Cliff Hara, said the tourist capital had 41,532 people living with HIV/AIDS out of a population of 164,157.
Dr Hara said of the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS, 16,121 were on Anti-Retro Viral Therapy (ART).
He said the district had a total number of 273 women who were accessing Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMCT) of HIV/AIDS.
Dr Hara disclosed that the district further had a total number of 637 exposed babies.
He also disclosed that Mahatma Ghandi Clinic had a bed capacity of three beds which were mostly for observations while Linda Clinic had a bed capacity of 16.
He, however, noted that his office faced a challenge as most clinics had run out of space, adding that all the services were done in cramped up spaces more especially maternity services.
”We have an incomplete maternity wing at Mahatma Ghandi which if completed will free up space for other services and give a conducive environment for our mothers,” he said.
Dr Hara noted that with partners like ZAMBART, Intra Health and Corridors of Hope, many people living with the disease have been reached and referred to the facility for treatment.
And the First Lady said she was confident that stakeholders were on course with the support received from other partners.
Mrs Lungu also noted that people living with HIV/AIDS were not supposed to be victimised because of their status.
And during her tour of Mahatma Ghandi Clinic, Mrs Lungu said she will personally inform the President of the situation at the health institution as the people deserved the right to good infrastructure.
And Livingstone Member of Parliament, Lawrence Evans, who is also Livestock and Fisheries Deputy Minister, said he would lobby for money so that structures at Mahatma Ghandi Clinic could be completed.
”The clinic look dilapidated and would need to be worked on,” he said.
And during her visit to Linda Clinic where the First Lady braved the heavy downpour to give her speech, Mrs Lungu commended the medical personnel at the institution and the youth who had volunteered to raise awareness to the community on health issues.
Earlier, the First Lady paid a courtesy at Chief Mukuni’s palace.
She is tomorrow expected to officiate at the National World Aids Day event at Villa Grounds.