Six (6) community health posts have been opened in defence force units and surrounding communities in the Copperbelt Province with the aim of identifying more people living with HIV/AIDS to enable them access counseling and treatment.
The community posts being run by a consortium of NGOs in the health sector have been launched in Ndola’s Nkwazi, Pamodzi, Mwange, Kaloko, Masala in Ndola and Buchi Kamitondo in Kitwe where more people have been brought on care and treatment.
When launching the six Community Health Posts at Kalewa Barracks in Ndola, Copperbelt Provincial Health Director Charles Mwinuna declared that combined efforts from stakeholders are key to achieving the provision of quality primary health services closer to the people.
Dr. Mwinuna said the Ministry of Health is pleased that some stakeholders have partnered with the Government to provide health services in communities and closer to the people.
He said efforts from stakeholders are paying off in improving the health of citizens especially in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“It is the government’s desire to ensure primary health care services are accessible, encouraging coverage for all. It is the ministry of health’s vision to bring health services closer to the people. The new dawn government under the able leadership of his excellency the president of the republic of Zambia Mr. Hakainde Hichilema’s policy direction is to practice community health. The ministry of health under the UPND government and the able leadership of his Excellency the president of the republic of Zambia Mr. Hakainde Hichilema recognises the support and partnership from the us department of defence through JHEPEIGO.The ministry of health values the existing collaboration with the sister ministry of defence through the excellent leadership of the director general medical services and staff supporting and delivering health services to the uniformed personnel and their households,” Dr. Mwinuna stated.
“We recognize and appreciate Jhepeigo that has been an all weather partner to the ministry of health and ministry of defence in various health programs and activities supporting the government of the republic of Zambia for many years. The ministry of health under the UPND government of the republic of Zambia will always welcome and support collaborating partners supplementing the government’s effort in delivering health services to the people of Zambia. Circle of hope has been an all weather stakeholder to the government of the republic of Zambia since 2005, when the organisation started their health programs especially focusing on the fight against HIV/aids through prevention, care and treatment. So far this orgnisation has managed to put more than 43,000 HIV patients on care in Lusaka alone through their effective model of establishing community posts closer to the people as possible. We appreciate the presence of the circle of hope in the province through their partnership with Jhepeigo and the Dfz facilities with support from the Department of defence (DOD),” he said.
Dr. Mwinuna said the establishment of the 6 six community posts in Copperbelt communities surrounding the DFZ health facilities will significantly contribute to the reduction in HIV infections, increase in the number of those accessing art services, and attaining viral load suppression.
“This partnership is one such a unique one and we appreciate the support coming from DOD through Jhpiego and circle of hope to the DFZ health facilities. As a ministry we will continue to provide policy guidance in the fight against HIV/aids and towards ending the epidemic in Zambia not only among our military personnel but also to the rest of the citizenry. The ministry of health is well positioned and will continue to collaborate with the ministry of defence in this fight by enhancing the supply chain (pharmacy, laboratory requirements, registers among other needful for use in the DFZ facilities and its newly established cps.”
“The province welcomes this model which has been proven to work effectively elsewhere including outside of Zambia and has been adopted as a PEPFAR solution now being implemented by many other countries in Africa. We encourage our stakeholders including the community, traditional, faith and civic leadership to embrace and support this initiative, create demand in the communities and ensure our people access the services being provided by the community posts. I am well informed that the community posts including Nkwazi, Pamodzi, Mwange, Kaloko, Masala in Ndola and the newly opened Buchi Kamitondo cp in Kitwe are already doing wonders in bringing more people care and treatment,” he concluded.
Project Director for an organisation called JHEPEIGO – Dr. Nancy Ziyongwe said Community Health Posts launched in military communities and surrounding areas are providing HIV services that include testing and treatment.
Speaking on behalf of traders at Nkwazi Market, Lloyd Nkhoma said providing HIV services in markets will heighten the fight against the pandemic.
Since the high profile demise of Masuzyo Gwebe Kaunda in December 1986, what has Zambia done about HIV/AIDS apart from being dependent on support from the USAID? Are you sure we couldn’t have achieved anything by now if at all we’ve been making even the least modicum effort? Even Sondashi who isn’t even a scientist can boast that he’s tried. What kind of people are we?
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