–The National AIDS Council (NAC) has disbursed grants amounting to K83,000 to 10 Lusaka Community Home Based Organizations (CHBCs) dealing in health matters in five constituencies in Lusaka Province.
The beneficiaries are Dave Home Based Care, Life Liner, Twavwane HIV/AIDS and Nutrition, Mulagilile, Kapasa Community School, Chawama Cobet, Madrasa, Volunteers Association of Zambia, Agape Association and Hope World-wide.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, NAC Acting Director General (DG), Elizabeth Choseni, said HIV/AIDS is threatening and needs concerted efforts from all stakeholders.
Ms Choseni disclosed that her organisation would disburse the funds in three tranches starting 35 per cent for the first-two disbursements and 30 per cent for the last disbursement respectively.
She said the disbursement of funds is the demonstration and NAC’s resolve towards a decentralised response in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The NAC DG added that her organisation last year disbursed a total of K262,500 to other CHBC institutions.
And Lusaka Mayor, Mulenga Sata, whose City Council is the implementing Agent of the NAC/LCC Memorandum of Understanding, regretted that the decline in donor support in response to HIV and AIDS signals local institutions to approach the pandemic with the vigour it deserves.
Mr Sata said it was important that stakeholders in the health sector focus their energies and efforts on high impact interventions in the light of the funding shifts.
He, however, challenged NAC to extend the grants to the two remaining Lusaka Central and Kabwata constituencies that did not benefit from the grants.
The Mayor congratulated the recipients from Chawama, Kanyama, Mandevu, Munali and Matero constituencies.
He urged the beneficiaries to use the funds for intended purposes and guard against abuse if they were to benefit again.
Giving a vote of thanks, Njapa Mtonga, one of the beneficiaries from Hope World-Wide Zambia commended NAC and the LCC for the gesture.
Ms Mtonga who is Programme Officer assured government and its corporate partners that the funds would be used for the intended purposes.
According to the recent Zambia Demographic Health Survey, about 1.1 million people out of the 13 million Zambians reproductive age groups from 15 to 49 years are living with HIV/AIDS.
The survey projects that 530,000 people are on Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART) with more people targeted to access ART.
The mode of HIV and AIDS transmission as indicated in the 2009 survey have remained the same which include multiple and concurrent partners, low condom usage, marginalized groups such as prisons, mobility and migrant labour, mother to child transmission and low levels of male circumcision.