President Edgar Lungu says his government is committed to ending HIV/AIDS by 2030.
And United States of America embassy Charge D’Affairs David Young says more than US$4.5 billion has been invested in Zambia’s HIV/AIDS fight through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
In a speech read on his behalf by Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya during the commemoration of the World AIDS Day at Kalingalinga ground in Lusaka, Tuesday, President Lungu said ending HIV/AIDS by 2030 was only attainable if everyone took responsibility of their health.
He said government had embarked on a programme of ensuring universal health coverage which included ending HIV/AIDS by 2030.
“The government look is focused on ending HIV/AIDS by the year 2030. This futuristic target is only attainable if you and I take responsibility. If you and I take ownership. Since the beginning of HIV/AIDS, Zambia has worked slowly with its partners to combat it and has enabled programmes that aim at attaining universal health coverage which also aims at ending HIV/AIDS by 2030,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu further disclosed that out of one million Zambians estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS, 95 per cent knew their status.
“Like you have heard, Zambia is one of the seven Countries that has attained the HIV/ AIDS control and out of one million estimated Zambians living with HIV/AIDS, 95 per cent know their status. In our road map, Zambia has pitched the epidemic target of HIV/ AIDS which is a great achievement to the country,” said President Lungu.
And Young said more than $4.5 billion had been invested in Zambia’s HIV/AIDS fight through PEPFAR.
“USA is committed in ending HIV/ AIDS globally and it is for this reason that more than $4.5 billion has been invested in the Zambian HIV/AIDS fight through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. More than one million Zambians are receiving ARVs because of the work the USA government is doing. 435, 000 voluntary male circumcision in the age of 15 and above have been conducted. We are talking about more than one million Zambians are alive today because of the work we do. We are also the largest contributors, through Global Fund, to fighting TB and Malaria,” he said.
Young added that his government would continue to make funding available in order to ensure that the fight against HIV/AIDS was won.
“I want to ensure the Zambian government that my government, USA will continue to make funding available in order to ensure that the fight against HIV/ AIDS is achieved”, said Young.
Earlier, Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo expressed disappointment that Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa was not at the event.
“I am very disappointed that the Lusaka Mayor, Councillors and officials from Lusaka City Council are not here. This is a very important national event and it is sad that none of them is here. It is the work of councilors to ensure that such messages of HIV/AIDS are disseminated to their community. Once again, I am so disappointed,” said Lusambo.
This year’s World AIDS Day was commemorated under the theme: The future is our responsibility: Let’s take action now.