Dr Kaunda then President of Zambia, established the National AIDS Surveillance Committee (NASC) and National AIDS Prevention and Control programme (NAPCP) to co-ordinate HIV and AIDS-related activities in the country.
In the early stages the epidemic was kept a secret by the authorities, but upon the death of his son, Masuzyo, in 1987 Dr Kaunda decided to go public and announced that his son had died of AIDS, an act that was and still regarded by many as a notable exception.
In the early 1990s, it was estimated that as many as one in five adults had been infected with HIV, leading the World Health Organisation to call for the establishment of a National AIDS Advisory Council in Zambia.
From there on the fight against HIV and AIDS has been a vigorous though not very successful one.
Of course many strides have been made in the fight against the epidemic what with the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal – MDG number six of reducing the national prevalence rate from 15.6 percent to 14.3 percent in 2013.
When the National AIDS Council was established in 2002 it was charged to co-ordinate all activities related to the fight against HIV and AIDS in the country. Government started providing antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in 2002 at a fee, but many citizens could not afford them.
In 2004 it started providing free treatment after receiving money from the Global Fund. Since then Zambians have continued to receive free ARVs from government health institutions with help from Global Fund, PEPFAR, the World Bank and other donors who together brought in a combined total of US$403 million in the period 2004 to2006 and have continued to provide more funding.
Government also commits colossal funds to the fight through budgetary allocations each year with US$41 million being 2014’s allocation which represents an increase of about 24 percent from 2013 allocation of US$33 million.
Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) , both local and international, have also been on hand to supplement Government’s efforts in the fight.
AIDS has seen the establishment of many local as well as the arrival of foreignNGO’s and civil society organisations (CSO’s).
These bring in a lot of funding to fight the disease. It should be noted, however, that these funds are not only helping to fight against HIV and AIDS but also providing the social welfare of the people of our country.
These organisations employ Zambians, which means they reduce unemployment; they teach people to eat well meaning they are helping to fight malnutrition.
The SF 2000 is a herbal medicine which has clinically been proved to have the potential to cure HIV and AIDs, and has been administered to over 400 patients. Dr Ludwig Sondashi, a Zambian who is the founder of the medicine, explains that he was inspired to start researching on the possible cure for HIV and AIDS after his son was diagnosed with the killer virus.
He, however, did not manage to save his son for he died before the SF-2000 was discovered.
Dr Sondashi has claimed on various media platforms that the medicine has so far been administered to over 400 patients who took it for a period of over six months to one year, and have been cured of AIDS.
South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) reported to the Zambian High Commissioner to that country in 2012 that laboratory tests on the SF-2000 had shown anti-HIV activity and was ready for clinical tests on humans.
The council, however, could not proceed with gazzetting the medicine because of contractual disputes between it and Dr Sondashi.
The Zambian government in 2013 allocated a total sum of K800,000 to support the clinical trials, which have since been completed with the drug passing the tests. Dr Sondashi is now appealing that government helps in securing a company that can package the SF-2000 into tablets or capsules so that it can be certified for large-scale trials in the country.
I would like us for a moment to think outside the box. Let us think of the benefits that the SF-2000 can bring to our economy. Think of the many nations where people are afflicted with HIV and AIDS.
All those countries are potential customers and would willingly pay for the SF-2000.
I think the SF-2000 benefits out-weight those of donor funding in the long-term.
The author is a Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants licentiate student.