Aim for elimination of HIV/AIDS-First Lady

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First Lady Esther Lungu says there is need for concerted efforts in eliminating HIV/AIDS in order to have a generation free from the pandemic.

 

Mrs. Lungu said all stakeholders should work towards zero new infections, zero mother to child transmission and zero discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

 

She said Zambia was on the right track in addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS as is the case in other countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

 

Mrs. Lungu said after providing various interventions such as the provision of free access to Antiretroviral drugs ( ARV’s) to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS, Zambia has recorded a decrease in cases of mother to child transmission.

 

She said according to the UN progress report, the mother to child transmission cases dropped from 19,000 in 2009 to 14,000 in 2011 and to 9,500 in 2013.

 

The First Lady was speaking in Lusaka a speech read for her by Health Minister Joseph Kasonde during the launch of the fourth revised national strategic framework which is aimed at systematically responding to the HIV/AIDS scourge.

 

And Director General of the National Aids Council (NAC) Jabbin Mulwanda said despite the successes scored in addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS, there was no need to relent in order to yield maximum results and effectively narrow down to zero AIDS related deaths.

 

Mr. Mulwanda said it was gratifying that the strategic framework was multi-sectoral as stakeholders from all 10 provinces were widely consulted.

 

He further stating that the strategy will fast track the implementation of the high impact interventions to ending the epidemic by 2030.

 

And speaking at the same function, Network of Zambian People Living with HIV/AIDS (NZP+) programme manager Kunyima Banda said the civil society was happy with the strategic framework that will contribute to having zero new infections of HIV/AIDS.

 

And UNAIDS Country Director Medhin Tsehaiu said it was imperative that the approach emphasizes the need to focus on the counties, cities and communities which were most affected by HIV.

 

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