ZAMBIA: HEALTH/ZNBC/6/11/18 SABANews 1
CHIPATA – The government of ZAMBIA says it is very concerned about the high prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the EASTERN Province.
Health Minister CHITALU CHILUFYA has revealed the region recorded alarming numbers of new infections in the recent past, with CHIPATA and PETAUKE areas leading the rest.
He says there is need to screen, test, and treat more people to achieve the 90-90-90 targets, which the Joint UNITED NATIONS Program on HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS, and its partners launched in 2014.
The scheme aims to diagnose 90 percent of all HIV-positive persons, give antiretroviral therapy, or ART, for 90 percent of diagnosed cases, and achieve viral suppression for 90 percent of treated patients by 2020.
Minister CHILUFYA says the primary concern of the ZAMBIAN Government is human capital, hence the need to have a healthy workforce for economic development.
ZNBC News says the Cabinet Member has made the comments in CHIPATA Town during the launch of the 2018 to 2019 HIV Epidemic Control Surge Campaign.
It says Senior Chief MADZIMAWE of the NGONI people of CHIPATA has commended the government and cooperating partners for their efforts towards the fight against HIV and AIDS.
The national broadcaster also quotes UNITED STATES Ambassador DANIEL FOOTE as saying Human Immuno-deficiency Virus, which causes AIDS, is no longer a death sentence like before.
The AMERICAN Envoy says the infection has now become a chronic condition under which a person can lead a healthy life.
A 2016 report by the OPEN AIDS JOURNAL says world trends in HIV infection show an overall increase in frequency and substantial declines in AIDS related deaths largely due to the survival benefits of antiretroviral treatment.
With more than 70 percent of the global infections, and despite scaled up treatments, Sub SAHARAN AFRICA accounted for 74 percent of the ONE-POINT-FIVE-MILLION AIDS related deaths in 2013.
Research shows SWAZILAND, with more than 27 percent of the population living with HIV and AIDS, has the highest rate of infection worldwide, while BOTSWANA, with about 22 percent of the population living with the disease, has the SECOND largest prevalence rate globally./Sabanews/cam