Govt to intensify measures against HIV/AIDS
Chinsali, July 3, 2013.ZANIS… Government says it will intensify interventions measures on HIV/AIDS in the country.
Chinsali District Commissioner (DC) Evelyn Kangwa says serious interventions such as Voluntary Counseling and Treatment (VCT) should be intensified in order to reduce on the number of new infections.
And Chinsali District Aids Task Force (DATF) Chairperson, Noah Simulunga says the district has an annual rate of infections of 30 percent.
Ms. Kangwa said people are still acquiring HIV/AIDS hence the need to intensify VCT interventions as an entry point to prevention, treatment, care and support.
ZANIS reports that the District Commissioners said this over the long weekend in a speech read on her behalf by the Chinsali District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Davy Chanda.
This was during the World VCT Day celebrated under the theme “Reaching Everyone, Everywhere with annual HIV Counseling and Testing Services”.
The DC lamented that HIV/AIDS is continuously posing major challenges to the nation`s Health Care System and Social Economic Growth due to the fact that Zambia has the highest preference rate in the world among other Sub-Sahara countries.
She said the pandemic has spread rapidly across all sectors of the society resulting into threats to reverse the Social Economical gains made since independence especially in Chinsali District.
Ms. Kangwa said development comes with challenges and Chinsali was undergoing development hence the need for residents to keep themselves healthy regardless of the status so as to contribute to national development.
“ The Patriotic Front (PF) Government stands committed to reducing new HIV infections with the help of cooperating partners so that the country`s preference rate of 14.3 percent can be reduced further, “ she said.
She said Government is implementing proven interventions through combination of prevention strategies which include accelerating biomedical efforts.
Ms. Kangwa added that the root causes that sustain high levels of vulnerability such as low condom use, traditional and cultural beliefs must be looked into.
Speaking earlier Chinsali District Aids Task Force (DATF) Chairperson, Noah Simulunga said as a district the annual rate of infections is static at 30 percent.
Mr. Simulunga, who is also Chinsali Administrative Officer (DAO) , said he said this calls for residents to go for VCT in order to reduce the infection move from 30 percent to 50 percent by 2015.
He said the celebration should help to reach more people every year adding that the current 17 Health Centres where VCT services are being provided will be increased to 20 centres.
And District AIDS Coordination Advisor (DACA) Osward Chikwaba says Chinsali district has the prevalence rate of 4.5 percent as at 2012.
Mr. Chikwaba further encouraged Chinsali residents to go for VCT annually as individuals and couples in order to curb the problem with a lasting solution.
People from all walks of like responded well during the VCT Day commemoration in Chinsali and took bold decisions to know their status.