Zambia has called for sustainable financing to reduce the huge economic impact of HIV on developing countries, increase research to find the cure, reduce stigma and scale up support to rural communities.
The call was made by National Development Planning minister Alexander Chiteme, in Washington at the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fund’s Headquarters.
That was when Mr Chiteme participated in the high-level meeting on Economic Impact of HIV Spending and Joint Efforts to Plan for a Sustainable HIV Response.
Mr. Chiteme called for concerted efforts to broaden research into finding the cure to diseases and addressing disparities in the provision of support to people living with HIV/AIDS in urban and rural areas.
He said Zambia had made substantial progress in the response to HIV and AIDS.
“More than 4 million people access HIV counseling and testing services annually and over 75 percent of people living with HIV are on life-saving anti-retroviral treatment,
“Estimated annual new infections among adults aged 15+ continue to decline from 67,000 in 2009 to 43,000 in 2018, while those for children aged 0-14 years declined from 23,000 to 8,700,” Mr. Chiteme told the delegates.
He said annual AIDS-related deaths have decreased from 69,000 in 2002 to 19,000 in 2018. By the end of 2018, more than 2,900 health facilities countrywide were providing HIV testing and counselling services while the number of ART sites increased to more than 1,000 sites across the country from 509 in 2011.”
The Minister explained that Zambia had already started initiating sustainability measures through the introduction a number of domestic resource mobilisation initiatives and enhancing the country public finance management framework.
“I want to assure you that government will continue to develop mechanisms for its long-term sustainability of the HIV response in Zambia,” said Mr. Chiteme. “Zambia will embrace the National AIDS Spending Assessment (NASA) principles to ensure that we are making right decisions in the allocation of resources for the HIV response. ”he said
The Minister thanked the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for its support to Zambia.
PEPFAR is the U.S. Government’s response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and represents the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history.