Zambia’s Southern Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta has said a lot of people are dying due to not knowing their HIV status.
Speaking in Livingstone at an event to celebrate a team from NZP+, who arrived in the capital on Friday (4 May 2012) having just walked 450 kilometres from Lusaka to raise awareness about HIV, Mwaliteta said: “People are dying due to lack of information”.
He added that the capital now has a HIV prevalence rate of 29% and thanked the team for “taking this initiative to not only fundraise and raise awareness on HIV and AIDS issues but also for the sacrifice and self-denial for benefit of improving the quality of life of people living with HIV and AIDS”.
NZP+chairperson Lloyd Bwaly, one of the walkers, said that during the 21 day walk they noticed higher levels of stigma around HIV and AIDS in urban areas compared to rural ones.
Mwaliteta said NZP’s leadership roles in community based HIV and AIDS interventions must be emulated by other districts.
He added: “This is a clear demonstration of not only innovativeness but leadership.”
Livingstone NZP+ Chapter board chairperson Kaliki Nosiku said the chapter, which was formed in 2003, has raised its membership from 80 at the inception to 120. He added that the walkers also noted a lack of cancer centres in the province and that despite having enough drugs, the health centres lacked human resources.
“We discovered that there is need to increase cancer centres [and] increase facilities that can provide health services to children with disabilities. In the 21 days we have walked we have noted that the Catholic Church is leading in Home Based Care (HBC),” he said.
The NZP+ Lusaka-Livingstone walk included two married women Patricia Michelo, Francissca Hamonga and an 18-year-old from Kitwe, Enock Musonda.
Others in the team were Sydney Mwamba, John Kanjembwe, Given Libala, Patrick Kasoka and Ernest Pumulo.
- NZP+ South chairperson being welcomed after walking over 456 kiloters in 21 days with seven others including two women