—-Deputy Speaker of National Assembly, Mkhondo Lungu, has challenged Members of Parliament (MPs) to help in providing prevention interventions for HIV and AIDS in their respective constituencies.
Mr Lungu says legislators are better placed and have the mandate to ensuring that the lead by example because HIV and AIDS have adversely impacted the reproductive age group in their areas.
Mr Lungu observes that there are some pertinent interventions the parliamentarians could show in demonstrating their leadership roles towards the fight against HIV and AIDS.
The Deputy Speaker said this when he opened a two-day-workshop dubbed, "Coalition of African Parliamentarians Against HIV and AIDS (CAPAH). The workshop has been organised by the National AIDS Council in collaboration with the UN System and the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.
Mr Lungu noted that MPs are aware of best practices and what has worked before in terms of HIV and AIDS prevention, noting the the pandemic has continued to rob the nation of productive people.
He said the parliamentarians could formulate for possible consideration by Government on how the nation could proceed in responding to HIV and AIDS and sexual reproductive health practices.
He, however, commended the strives taken by Government through the Ministry of Health in addressing the HIV and AIDS challenge such as life expectancy that is steadily raising among the people, infant mortality rates that are falling and the decline on maternal and mortality rates among other progresses.
He added that achieving Millennium Development Goals on quality health cannot be attained without universal HIV and AIDS participation, hence the workshop is timely.
And speaking earlier, CAPAH Chairman, Brian Chituwo, said parliamentarians cannot leave the issue of combating HIV and AIDS to government alone.
Dr Chituwo, who is also MMD Mumbwa MP, thanked the organizers of the workshop for putting parliamentarians on bold because they are focal point persons in disseminating HIV and AIDS messages in their areas.
The two-day HIV and AIDS workshop is attended by Cabinet ministers, their deputies and both opposition and ruling PF MPs.
Others attending include former Deputy Speaker, Mutale Nalumango, Zambia Prison Service Commandant, Percy Chato, NAC Director General, Clement Chellah, some senior government and UN System officials.