The Network of Zambian People Living with HIV and AIDS – NZP+- says the rise in the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Mafinga District of Muchinga Province is alarming.
NZP+ Program Officer Dennis Chibuye said it was disturbing that the number of HIV cases has risen from 700 to more than 1,200 in the past four years.
Mr. Chibuye said this on the sidelines of the commemoration of this year’s World Aids Day which was held in Kalyamani village adding that there is need for concerted efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“There is need to work together as government and NGOs in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” he said.
He said on this score his organisation remains committed to ensuring that the number of HIV/AIDS cases in the district are reduced by providing education and awareness campaign to curb the spread of the virus.
“ NZP+ is supplementing government efforts by partnering with government through working with various key Ministries and departments to ensure that issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, Gender Based Violence (GBV) including the effects of COVID-19 are addressed, “ he said.
He added that the organisation will continue carrying out programs in the district that educate people especially young adults and adolescents on how to keep themselves protected against HIV/AIDS.
“It is easy for one who has information on HIV/AIDS to protect themselves against acquiring or spreading of the infection,” he said.
Mr. Chibuye further stated that it is only when the people are knowledgeable about the virus that’s when they will be able to make informed decisions towards the well-being of their lives and that of others.
Meanwhile, Government has called for the involvement of the HIV prevention component in capital projects in order to mitigate the pandemic.
Acting Mwansabombwe District Commissioner Rueben Chandwa explains that involvement of the HIV prevention component in capital projects will ensure that funds are readily available for HIV/AIDS activities at community and national level.
Mr. Chandwa says it is saddening to not that a number of civil society organisations involved in fighting the global pandemic have limited capacity due to lack of funds.
ZANIS reports that the Acting District Commissioner was speaking during the commemoration of World AIDS day held at Kabumbu grounds in Mwansabombwe district, on Thursday.
“ There is need to enhance sub -granting of community based organizations who are currently struggling to implement HIV prevention programmes due to lack of funds.
“ The epidemic has been aggravated in the district due to the implementation of capital projects such as roads, schools, hospitals among others, “ he said.
Mr. Chandwa advised the Community HIV Action groups to come up with innovative prevention interventions using the Constituency Development Funds.
And speaking at the same occasion, deputy council Chairperson Ngosa Milambo said the local authority remains committed to put up measures that will contribute positively to the fight against the further spread of HIV/AIDS.
Mr. Milambo cited the distribution of condoms in social places and health education among the youths in the communities among interventions.
And cting District Health Director John Mbewe said HIV and AIDS remains a major public health issue which affects millions of people globally.