The Government through Ministry of Health (MoH) has called upon all Zambians to take centre stage in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya said there is need for all Zambians including Traditional, Political, Civic leaders and other influential people in various sectors of society to take bold steps and actions towards safeguarding the lives of every Zambian particularly children, adolescents, young people and people living with disabilities who have the highest risk of being left behind.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Permanent Secretary – Technical Services Dr Kennedy Malama, during the Commemoration of the 2019 World AIDS Day, in Lusaka, Dr Chilufya said, “ this year’s World AIDS Day theme – Communities Making a Difference Pressing Towards Ending AIDS – is not only timely but provides a grand opportunity for people to recognize the pivotal role that the communities have played and continue to play in the HIV and AIDS response at community, national and international levels.”
“Well supported Community engagement and participation enables sustained HIV prevention and linkage care leading to the achievement of epidemic control,” Dr Chilufya said.
Dr Chilufya thanked all partners including the Global Fund UN System for the technical, logistical and financial support to the HIV response in Zambia. Special appreciation was given to the United States Government for the continued support to the HIV response through the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR).
And PEPFAR acting Country Coordinator Daphyne Williams said communities had the power to make a positive impact by caring more.
“Everyone must get involved because reaching epidemic control will shine the light on a new goal, ending HIV once and for all,” Ms Williams said.
Ms Williams noted that Zambia’s theme for World AIDS Day 2019 was a remarkable and appropriate theme for the country because communities have made a huge difference already and hence the reason Zambia is so close to epidemic control.