Providing Health Services and Sensitisation at Zambian Traditional Ceremonies

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Providing Health Services and Sensitisation at Zambian Traditional Ceremonies

In the photo CIDRZ Senior Community Advisor Mr Fresher Maphiri and MC Community Coordinator Bright Jere meet with his Royal Highness Senior Chief Nacilele of Kaoma at his Royal Palace. Chief Nacilele is an advocate for medical male circumcision and encourages all men in his chiefdom to have the procedure. He says that all seven of his grand sons have been circumcised.

Zambia is blessed with over 70 distinct tribes and many have annual traditional ceremonies that bring throngs of tribesmen together to celebrate their cultural diversity. Events such as these provide an excellent opportunity to reach people with health services, accurate health messages, and dispel misconceptions.

With the support of the US PEPFAR and CDC partnership, CIDRZ community teams attend these events, and recently they traversed the country to provide HIV testing and counselling, and provide information and health messages about medical male circumcision, ART adherence and tuberculosis screening at the Nc’wala Traditional Ceremony of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province, followed by the Kuomboka Traditional Ceremony of the Lozi speaking people of Western Province.  Over 2000 people received HIV testing and counselling at these two events, and interested men were booked for medical circumcision at the nearest health facilities offering the service.

After the Kuomboka Traditional Ceremony, the CIDRZ team also were privileged to meet with six of the local Lozi traditional leaders, or their representatives, to seek the intervention of the Royal Highnesses to assist in increasing the uptake of health services, particularly of HIV testing, male circumcision (MC) and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, amongst their people.

In addition to meeting with the KUTA, full cabinet of the Lozi Paramount Chief, the Litunga; they visited the Chiefs in Senanga, Kalabo, Mongu, Limulunga and Kaoma.

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