CIDRZ hosts first Lusaka ART Saturation Planning meeting with over 90 participants

Dr Mary Boyd, U.S. CDC Zambia Associate Deputy Director Programmes addressing the meeting

CIDRZ today hosted the planning meeting for the Lusaka Art Saturation Surge Campaign – dubbed Tiyende Pamodzi. The meeting has seen the participation of about 40 health facilities and hospitals, and more than 90 people.

This was made possible with support from With support from the US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.

The planning meeting is meant to operationalize the Lusaka Surge Strategy which the Republican President, Edgar Lungu, launched on 11 December 2017, during the World AIDS Day Commemoration.

The meeting drew participants from other United States government supported implementing partners that include: University of Maryland, FHI, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Zambia Community HIV Prevention Project Z-CHPP, and Expanded Church Response (ECR).

Addressing the participants, the United States Centers for disease Control and Prevention, Zambia Associate Deputy Director of Programmes, Dr. Mary Boyd emphasized the need for partners to be committed to the objectives of the Lusaka ART Saturation Surge Campaign.

Part of the participants drawn from all the healthy facilities in Lusaka

Tiyende Pamodzi campaign is a strategy by the Ministry of Health and PEPFAR in Zambia to achieve HIV epidemic control in Lusaka Province over 12 months, whereby 90% of People Living with HIV are identified, 90% of identified PLHIV are placed on ART, 90% of PLHIV on ART become virally suppressed and use the information learned from achieving epidemic control in Lusaka Province to assure achieving 90-90-90 efficiently in Zambia by or before December 2020.

Currently, Lusaka province statistics indicate that out of an estimated population of 326,535 people living with HIV, only 71% of people are aware of their HIV status, while 88% are on treatment and 89% are virally suppressed.

The meeting sought to assess the readiness and current status of the health facilities in terms of responding to the needs of the Lusaka Surge campaign. The goals assessed included: 1) Case finding 2) Linkages to care and treatment 3) Retention to care 4) Viral Load testing and 5) Systems issues

CIDRZ shares best practices and experiences at 11th Annual HIV Technical Conference

 

Dr Mubiana-Mbewe

In its quest to be a permanent resource to the Government of the Republic Zambia, CIDRZ actively collaborates with the Ministry of Health and serves on Technical Working Groups. Through mentorship and technical assistance, CIDRZ builds strong relationships with Zambian healthcare staff from facility to national levels as well as presenting at local and international meetings and provide regular dissemination to the Ministry of Health Research Directorate and other key stakeholders.

“In this regard, CIDRZ participated at this year’s 11th Annual National HIV Technical Conference held in Lusaka under the theme “fast- tracking Towards HIV Epidemic Control while Maintaining Quality Health Care”

Dr Mwangelwa Mubiana-Mbewe presented research findings on stigma under a session aimed at highlighting challenges and share best practices in case identification and linkage to treatment for adults, pregnant women and key populations towards achieving the first 90.

Musonda Musonda shared best practices in case identification and linkage to treatment for adolescents from a Comprehensive PMTCT for At-Risk Teens project supported by the M.A.C AIDS Fund. The “one-stop shop” pilot service implementation project aims to increase the awareness of adolescent health services within targeted communities as well as amongst health providers. The goal is to increase HIV testing amongst teens and prevent new HIV infections in HIV-negative teens, prevent unintended pregnancies, improve adherence to Option B+, increase treatment initiation and retention, increase the awareness of adolescent health services within the community.

CIDRZ Chief Medical Officer Dr Carolyn Bolton co-chaired a session on differentiated service delivery models and lost to follow up where Mpande Mwenechanya presented on CIDRZ Community Adherence Groups (CAGS), Urban Adherence Groups (UAG) models.

“The meeting was officially opened by the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Chitalu Chilufya who also stated that the Zambian government is in the process of introducing a bill in parliament to help strengthen the National AIDS Council (NAC) in order for the organisation to effectively respond to the emerging challenges that come with control of the HIV epidemic.”

President Lungu Launches one year ‘Tiyende Pamodzi’ Campaign: reaching out to Everyone with HIV Information and treatment

CIDRZ staff participating in the World AIDS Day commemoration activities today

President Edgar Lungu today, 11 December 32017, launched the Lusaka Anti Retroviral Therapy Saturation Surge Campaign. He launched the campaign during the commemoration of the World AIDS Day celebrations, whose theme is Ënding AIDS Starts with ME!”.

President Lungu during the launch of the campaign at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka today

 “This is the first ever surge campaign in Africa and I would urge everyone to support this campaign by getting tested now. If you are found negative, live responsibly and if found positive start treatment now immediately,” President Lungu said.

In his launch speech, President Lungu said “the commemoration of World AIDS Day this year coincides with the launch of the Lusaka Ant-retroviral Therapy Surge Campaign dubbed ‘Tiyende Pamodzi’’ . This campaign is aimed at Achieving HIV epidemic control, within one year, in Lusaka which currently carries 25 percent of the national HIV burden.”

President Lungu said, though Zambia has witnessed the decline of HIV cases, more work need to be done to sustain the gains achieved so far.

What is Lusaka ART Saturation Surge campaign?

How are we fairing on 90:90:90 strategy in Lusaka

Lusaka ART Saturation Surge Campaign is a strategy by the Ministry of Health and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Zambia to achieve HIV epidemic control in Lusaka Province over 12 months, whereby 90% of People Living with HIV(PLHIV) are identified, 90% of identified PLHIV are placed on ART, 90% of PLHIV on ART become virally suppressed and use the information learned from achieving epidemic control in Lusaka Province to assure achieving 90-90-90 efficiently in Zambia nationwide by or before December 2020.

Currently, Lusaka province statistics indicate that out of an estimated population of 326,535 people living with HIV, only 71% of people are aware of their HIV status, while 88% are on treatment and 89% are virally suppressed.

CIDRZ, being the main GRZ partner in Lusaka will take a lead in ensuring that the objects, 90:90:90 are reached for Lusaka.

 

CIDRZ is ready for the challenge

The Surge Strategies

The campaign will implement strategies such as increasing targeted case identification through index testing of family and other sexual partners (Partner Notification Services), different linkage strategies tailored for health facilities and communities, Implement the WHO recommendation to retest for verification HIV positive individuals prior to ART initiation and HIV self-testing to reach adolescents, men, and key populations.

Another strategy will be to increase physical infrastructure and staffing to provide ART for increased number of patients by procuring and erecting pre-fabricated structures and hiring additional staff at selected clinics. Convert selected health posts to ART sites by providing the required staff, ARVs and other health commodities, equipment and furniture for service delivery.

Expanding Differentiated Service Delivery (DSD) is another strategy that will be used to better serve the needs of patients on ART and reduce the workload of healthcare workers. This will be achieved through transfer of all stable patients into DSD programs to reduce the time and effort that they need to spend to receive care and treatment, which in turn should improve retention. Provide multiple months prescriptions of ARVs and 6-monthly clinical consultations for all stable patients in Lusaka to reduce the number of clinic visits.

In order to achieve the 3rd 90, viral load testing will be increased to assure that there is capacity to determine the viral load for all patients on ART. Lusaka Province, currently has three viral load testing labs namely the University Teaching Hospital, Pediatric Center of Excellence, and CIDRZ Central Lab with a collective capacity to process 100,000 viral load tests annually.

Lastly, the storage space for ARVs at the district and site levels will be increased to assure adequate supply for the increased number of patients and multiple months prescription, carefully forecast the supply needs at the site level and inform central medical stores to ensure timely drug distribution and ensure adequate supplies of HIV test kits, ARVs, EDTA test tubes, and viral load consumables at all times.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda being honoured by President Lungu for his support to end HIV in Zambia

… and First Repoublican President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda was honoured by President Lungu for his efforts in fighting HIV in Zambia. President Kaunda will be one of the Ambassadors for the campaign. Others include Innocent Kalaluka a.k.a Smooth IK; award winning musician, B’Flow; and Keembe Member of Parliament, Hon. Princess Kasune Zulu.

CIDRZ Joins Zambia Correctional Service to commemorate World AIDS Day

ZCS Commissioner General, Percy Chato

“As we celebrate this day and in an effort of not leaving inmates behind by 2030, the following statistics are worth noting though not conclusive, 2451 inmates are on antiretroviral therapy, 166 inmates are on TB treatment and 90% reduction in morbidity. We thank our cooperating partners such as CIDRZ for supporting this event and call upon all cooperating partners to continue with this collaboration if we are to end HIV/AIDS by 2030 without leaving the correctional community behind,” said Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS) Commissioner General Percy Chato.

This was during the ZCS commemoration of World AIDS Day at the Lusaka Central Correctional Facility.

“I wish to thank partners such as CIDRZ and those not mentioned here for supporting this event. our casual observation is that there is a decrease of HIV/AIDS among inmates and staff. However, we cannot rely on observations only. Therefore there is need for another scientific survey to determine the current prevalence rate in prisons as data from the 2013 survey could have been overtaken by time. We call upon all cooperating partners to conduct a survey in correctional facilities to depict a true picture of what is happening on the ground.”

Since its inception in 2001, CIDRZ has implemented 6 different projects in correctional facilities in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Zambia. These include:

  1. TB REACH 1 that was an implementations science programme that had both research and provision of TB/HIV interventions;
  2. Zambia Prisons Health Systems Strengthening (ZaPHSS) project whose goal was developing and building capacity of the prison health system that is able to plan, manage and implement improved health services in Zambian correctional facilities; This was with support from the European Union
  3. Placement of equipment such as GeneXpert and refurbishment of Mazabuka prisons health facility under the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Centers for Disease Control CDC supported under the HIV Integration into Local Ownership (HILO) project;
  4. Treatment as Prevention (TasP);
  5. CONTINUUM study and
  6. The US government support Achieving HIV Epidemic Control (ACHIEVE) which is a five year project support by PEPFAR through the CDC partnership.

CIDRZ provided support for sustained TB diagnosis through support of back-up lab supplies, support of X-ray services and on-going training and mentorship of prison health centres.

Some inmates during the march past to commemorate the day

CIDRZ Project Manager, Clement Moonga said “we value our relationship with ZCS and together we have been able to raise the standard of health care, particularly for HIV and TB, for inmates in Zambia. As a major technical partner to ZCS under projects such as TB REACH and the Zambia Prisons Health Systems Strengthening (ZaPHSS), we have been able to jointly establish policies and systems to improve access to healthcare in correctional facilities and structures for communication, coordination, and planning”.