WITH the cure for HIV/AIDS still elusive, some chiefdoms in Southern Province have embarked on launching leadership declarations to commit to combating the pandemic in a comprehensive manner.
Chief Nalubamba and his subjects in Namwala, are the latest to launch the declaration on HIV/AIDS fight by mainstreaming it in all developmental activities in the Mbeza chiefdom.
This, comes barely a few weeks after Chief Chikanta and his subjects in Kalomo launched a similar declaration to fight HIV/AIDS after identifying 35 key drivers which promote the pandemic in the area.
The chiefdoms were addressing the HIV/AIDS through their various strategic development plans, which had inputs from households, villages and chiefs.
Launching the declaration on Tuesday in Mbeza area, Chief Nalubamba and his subjects also identified 16 key drivers of HIV/AIDS in the chiefdom, which included multiple sexual relationships coupled with unprotected sex.
“As traditional leaders and our people in Mbeza, we have identified the increase in the number of divorce cases among married couples, adultery cases and excessive alcohol drinking as factors that put our people at risk of HIV infection,” part of the declaration read.
The document states that traditional and cultural practices like polygamy, initiation ceremonies, tattooing using a razor blade on a number of people, night gatherings, and wrong doctrinal church teachings were key drivers of HIV/AIDS.
In addressing such incidences, the locals have enforced several measures such as voluntary counselling and testing, voluntary medical male circumcision, care, treatment and support to people living with HIV/AIDS, to reduce high levels of new infections.
The locals would enhance education on the need to stop adultery, prostitution and multiple concurrent partnerships, and that they would ensure defilers and those impregnating young girls, were punished.
Chief Nalubamba, through his Prime Minister Judge Chiimbwe commended the Support to the HIV/AIDS Response (SHAReII) in Zambia, a USAID funded project, for supporting the fight against the pandemic.
SHAReII organisational, development and policy manager Charles Hankoma said the people of America were committed in helping to fight HIV/AIDS.
Mr Hankoma said SHAReII through its sponsors, was committed to providing finances and capacity building with leadership skills that could help address HIV/AIDS.
Times of Zambia