By NATION REPORTER
SOUTHERN Province is among top three provinces in Zambia that has the highest number of people living with HIV and not accessing ARVs.
According to United States deputy Global AIDS coordinator Dr Mamadi Yilla, Southern Province has over 30 percent or about 50, 000 people living with HIV who were not accessing life-saving treatment.
This came to light during the launch of the Provincial HIV Epidemic Control Surge campaign dubbed “Atweende Antoomwe” held at Namatama ground in Maramba Township in Livingstone yesterday. Dr Yilla said that the launch was the third one in Zambia after Lusaka and Copperbelt.
“The aim of the surge is to energize and focus efforts towards the common goal of reaching HIV epidemic control 2020. The growing momentum is encouraging, and provides a strong foundation for the country to achieve its goal,” she said.
She commended the Zambian government and the Ministry Health for embracing the surge campaign.
“Together, we aim to identify 90 percent of people living with HIV in the province. As US government, through PEPFAR, remains a strong supporter of Zambia’s fight against HIV and this includes the contribution of more than US$ 3.5 billion over the last 15 years towards Zambia’s national programme,” Dr. Yilla said.
And Southern Province Minister Dr Edify Hamukale says that the epidemic control where HIV was concerned was no longer a public health threat in Zambia.
Speaking when he launched the surge, Dr. Hamukale said that to reach the targets, the provincial health office with support from the PEPFAR would increase the efforts towards finding the people living with HIV not on treatment and put them on ARVs.