First Lady, Dr Christine Kaseba, says it is disheartening to note that despite the positive gains that Zambia and the world have made in the fight against HIV and AIDS and Gender Based Violence (GBV), there are still gaps that need to be tackled.
Dr Kaseba described the state of affairs in the fight against HIV and AIDS as a tragedy today when she joined residents of Chibombo district in celebrating the World AIDS day which was commemorated worldwide under the theme “Getting to Zero HIV infections’ I am a youth making a change for an HIV free Zambia.”
She said it is sad to note that more young people, especially young women in the urban areas, continue being infected every day.
Dr Kaseba pointed out that Zambia can today celebrate the World AIDS day because of the several strides that government has put in place to reduce the spread of the disease.
The First Lady noted that some of the contributions to the infection of the disease have been the recent transactional and intergenerational sex which comes as a result of young people finding themselves caring for their parents who are infected with AIDS.
Dr Kaseba, however, thanked government for increasing funding to the health sector so that more people can have access to ARVs and live longer.
The First Lady, however, urged the youth to seize the opportunity and make a difference.
She further cautioned young people not to be swayed by the traps of a good living but focus on education which will benefit them in future.
And speaking at the same event, Central Province Minister, Philip Kosamu, said this year’s World AIDS day celebrations were a time to remember loved ones that had died of AIDS and victims of Gender Based Violence.
Mr. Kosamu said it was gratifying to note that the Patriotic Front government has prioritized good health as an essential prerequisite for national development.
He said HIV and AIDS cannot be fought by government alone but can be won through concerted efforts from every Zambian.
Mr Kosamu noted that despite the 2012 UNAIDS Worlds AIDS Day Report indicating a reduction in infections by 58 per cent in Zambia, more has to be done to bring the disease to zero infection rate as the theme for this year’s celebrations indicated.
Today’s commemorations for World AIDS day in Chibombo were characterised by dancers from cultural groups.
Among those in attendance were Chief Mwaliteta, Chief Chamuka, Central Province District Permanent Secretary, senior government officials, non-governmental organisations and the local churches.