Zambia posts remarkable achievements towards achieving MDGs

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THE ZAMBIA National AIDS Council (NAC)says  although Zambia has made remarkable progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)  on HIV, TB and Malaria, there is need to intensify the efforts in order to meet the set goals by 2015.

And NAC Chairperson Bishop Dr. Banda has told delegates in Nakonde at the on-going joint 57TH Local Government Association of Zambia annual
conference and the 10th Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders Initiative for Community Action on AIDS at Local Level that people on
Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) should continue even after being prayed for.

Bishop Banda said in his statement that though the country has made remarkable progress towards achieving the MDGs on HIV,TB and Malaria,
there is need for everyone at various levels to be part of the enhanced effort towards meeting the targets by 2015.

He said areas that need to be intensified in order for the country to meet the MDGs by 2015 include; having more people knowing
their HIV status and willing to adopt more healthy life styles.

Others are increasing TB cure rate of 80 percent and reduction of defaulters’ rates.

The clergyman has also charged that decentralizing HIV services leads to integration and mainstreaming of the said services into local
government programmes.

He added that decentralizing HIV services also sets a firm foundation for sustainability along with local human resource capacity
development.

“In my 31 years of engagement in Christian ministry have taught me that the closer you are to the people you are called to serve, the
more relevant and strategic your leadership will be, “said Bishop Banda.

He said that he sees decentralization as a key trigger towards more informed and effective leadership.

“As you work towards bringing HIV services closest to the communities, where they are most needed, the more precision you will attain in
meeting the pressing needs of the community.”

Bishop Banda also called on the civic leaders to sustain collaboration with other influential community actors such as traditional and faith
–based leaders adding that strategic collaboration at this level will lead to enhanced synergies of programming and achievement of long term
and sustainable development results.

And Bishop Banda has lashed out at some preachers claiming to be curing HI/AIDS.

Bishop Banda said people of ART have ended up dying after being told that they have been healed after being prayed for by some church
leaders.

He said that he is a strong believer that God heals all types of diseases and that he also believes that scientific and medical
breakthrough that we have today should be embraced as they are meant to benefit mankind and that the two should be combined.

He said that this is the reason why his church is running a clinic that is giving free Anti-Retroviral Drugs to people who are on ART.

Bishop Banda said people should report to NAC any church member telling people on ART to stop taking the drugs after praying for them
saying people should continue on ART even after being prayed for.

And contributing to the programme of HIV prevention in local authorities, civic leaders complained that they were receiving very
little cooperation from the police when it comes to arresting and prosecuting people promoting activities that promoted illicit sex.

They said that for instance people selling sexual boosters for men locally known as (mutototo) at the town centre and other places in
Kitwe where always being released by the police immediately after being arrested by the local authority.

The civic leaders appealed to the ministry of Home Affairs to intervene if the fight against HIV/AIDS has to be won.

They charged that the illegal selling of these sexual boosters have made many people to indulge in illicit sex.

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