The Medical for Quality Healthcare in Zambia (MQHZ) has praised the Ministry of Health for suspending the Zambia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZAMPHIA) Project after widespread public outcry.
In a statement released to the media by the organization’s Director-General Dr. Quince Mwabu, MQHZ said that continuing with the door to door collection of blood from people in various communities would have directly put innocent health workers in great danger of being attacked, owing to the volatile security situation in Zambia.
Dr. Mwabu said that while the ZAMPHIA project has good health objectives, the organization strongly felt that the timing was suicidal and could not clearly sit well with the mood in the country.
“The current widespread gassing of citizens and suspicions of ritual killings cannot allow a project of drawing blood from citizens coming from tensed up compounds,” read the statement
MQHZ has since advised the Ministry of Health to seriously sensitize the public on the ZAMPHIA program in order for our people to fully appreciate the benefits of the
undertaking, adding that lack of sensitization would still render the activity futile even in the future.
The Zambia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZAMPHIA) is a nationwide survey being implemented by the University of Maryland Baltimore in collaboration with the Ministry of Health with support from The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through CDC.
ZAMPHIA Survey is a nationally representative household-based survey that provides Home-Based HIV Counselling and Testing (HBHCT) with immediate return of results.
The survey was to collect data on access to and uptake of prevention and treatment services for HIV and the number of recent HIV infections (incidence) and provide HIV testing and check viral load suppression for HIV-positive participants.
Interview household respondents, which includes questions on behavioral factors associated with HIV, all information will be recorded on tablets by trained survey staff and treated as confidential.