Kalumbila district in North-western province has this year recorded 659 new cases of HIV of which 70 were amongst pregnant women.
This came to light during the commemoration of the 2017 national HIV counseling testing and treatment (HCTT) day in Kalumbila District , today.
ZANIS reports that Northwestern province permanent secretary Ephraim Mateyo who graced the commemoration said the high number of HIV cases in the district is worrying.
Mr Mateyo says government is committed to leaving no one behind on the fast track to controlling the HIV pandemic by 2020 and ending the threat of HIV and AIDS as a public issue by 2030.
And Kalumbila district council chairperson, Olix Kakwata said the situation in the area is serious, as the district population continues to rise on a daily basis owing to the economic activities driven by the two mines, Kalumbila and Lumwana, in the area.
Mr Kakwata said the council in the district is committed to supporting HIV programmes? by proposing to allocate 5% of the ward development fund towards HIV/AIDS prevention and elimination programmes?.
And Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo has called on communities in rural areas to utilize the transformative shift of government from HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing to access testing, counseling, and treatment services.
Mr Kasolo noted that bold decision for HIV testing and Anti-Retroviral Treatment is needed for all citizens living with HIV.
He was speaking at the Launch of the HIV Testing, Counseling and Treatment day whose theme, is “Test and Treat: towards ending AIDS’’ at Vizenge Primary School in chief Chanje’s area in Chipata.
“I am delighted that Ministry of Health is working with the Provincial AIDS Coordination Advisor at the province and district levels by prioritizing community health and I urge all stakeholders including members of the public to support this cause,” he said.
He stated that people should not wait for them to fall sick to go the hospital but access the service on time to avoid visiting when they are unable to walk.
Meanwhile, the PS says that the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate at provincial level stands at 8.2 percent from the 11 percent among the age group of 15 to 49 years olds between 2007 and 2014 .
Mr Kasolo said the overall new HIV infections from 13,629 out of 212,590 representing 6.4 percent individuals who tested for HIV in 2014 to approximately 14,641 out of 370,404 representing 4.0 percent in 2016 was recorded.
He further said the number of new HIV infections among the people has improved from 754 in 2015 to 780 in 2016, adding that the slight increase is as a result of the early detection of the pandemic in children.
Despite reaching 80 percent of adults in need of anti-retroviral therapy the province only covered eight percent children were treated.
And speaking at the same function, Provincial AIDS Coordination Advisor, Emmanuel Chama said HIV Testing, Counseling and Treatment is now one of the preventive strategies in the country.