The proclamation by the State to force citizens to test for HIV against their will is expected to usher into prominence in an alternative field, in the illegal blackmarket health industry which has always existed.
Illegal, unregistered and unregulated medical practioners including Sangomas and faith healers are likely going to fill the vacuum as an alternative against a Government controlled health policy.
There are currently hundreds of quacks and charlatans offering mobile ‘health services’ as first responders in most townships of our Country. As a matter of fact, registered and qualified medical practitioners’ private after hours services are likely to get a huge bubble as will traditional and faith healers. The only problem is this industry’s unorthodox methods will remain unregulated and almost impossible to monitor.
The above will result into thousands of deaths whose ‘natural causes’ will be impossible to capture statistically in order for Government to plan adequately.
Further, the stigmasation of HIV is likely to make a reemergence resulting in a lot of patients opting to die at home unattended and unmonitored by conventional healthcare providers.
It is also expected that preventable diseases like malaria, maybe difficult to control as people will shun hospitals and opt to purchase medicines from the blackmarket, that maybe unrelated to the ailments, which they will administer upon themselves without supervision, from a qualified health practitioner.
The WHO has already warned of a growing antibiotics resistance in most World populations due to the abuse of the drugs and the Zambian situation is likely to be unhelpful to this fight against the vice.
It remains to be seen if the Zambian Goverment will bow to pressure to reverse the decision which most experts view as retrogressive to the fight against HIV.
The current Zambian Government is known to only listen to concerns from abroad than locally as recently experienced from the Hakainde treason case which took the Commonwealth to broker.