President Edgar Lungu has stated that the fight against HIV can be won by 2030 with concerted efforts from all stakeholders.
President Lungu said he is hopeful that with everyone’s commitment and without criticism towards HIV, the fight against the epidemic could be won.
The Head of State said this in Lusaka today at the 2018, UNAIDS Leadership Award bestowed on Zambia’s First President Kenneth Kaunda as a Champion for an AIDS free generation.
President Lungu noted that Dr. Kaunda’s contribution to fight stigmatisation among others, has greatly contributed to the management of HIV not only in Zambia but in another countries as well.
He expressed gratitude to UNAIDS for the award which he said has helped to elevate Zambia’s credentials and rekindled the country’s hope in the fight against HIV.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe indicated that the award to Zambia’s First Republican President is due to his contribution towards the fight against HIV by speaking out against stigma and discrimination.
Mr. Sidibe said Dr. Kaunda is an inspiration to the young people who are the future champion generation in HIV fight.
And Former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba noted that the award is befitting for the recognition of the outstanding work that Dr. Kaunda has contributed to championing awareness about the HIV fight on the continent.
Mr. Pohamba said Dr. Kaunda ‘ s work in the fight against HIV has inspired many whose work will ensure total eradication of HIV as a public health concern.
Meanwhile, First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda has observed that HIV is one of the most serious threats on development as it attacks people at their most productive stage.
Dr. Kaunda noted that if not eradicated completely the disease has the potential to cause more deaths in the near future.
He further advised that to win the fight against HIV, there is need to remove stigma attached to HIV and AIDS and that no one should be left behind.
Speaking at the same event, Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya noted that there has been continuity in the fight against HIV in Zambia since the 1980’s and the country has made tremendous progress in the fight against the disease.
Dr. Chilufya added that Zambia has also embarked on a robust programme to strengthen health care systems including the fight against HIV which has seen the number of people on Anti-Retroviral treatment rising from 3,500 in 2003 to 855,000.
Also present at the event were other Champions for an AIDS free generation who included Former Vice President of Uganda, Speciosa Wandira- Kazibwe and Chancellor of Moi University Professor Miriam Were.