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Doctors in full support of govt’s efforts to end the HIV pandemic.

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THE Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) says it is possible to end HIV with a generation if Universal Testing and Treatment is implemented.

ZMA president Dr Chansa Abidan in a statement said the Universal Testing and Treatment takes the 90-90-90 strategy to achieve a generation free from HIV.

“Thorough this approach, 90% of the whole population should know their status and 90% of HIV positive persons should be placed on long life Antiretroviral (ARVs) drugs and 90% of patients on ARVs should be retained in treatment care and have their viral load suppressed,” Dr Abidan said.

“Therefore as a profession, we see this as an opportunity to expand HIV services not just at health facility level but at community level as well. Government and partners in the health sector should invest resources in ensuring that we reach 90% of population knowing their status.”

Dr Abidan said that the Association was in full support of government’s efforts to end the HIV pandemic.

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Polio virus detected in sewer samples in Kitwe’s Mindolo Township

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MINISTER of Health Sylvia Masebo has announced that Zambia has recorded a confirmed isolate case of polio virus from sewer samples taken from Mindolo Sewer treatment pond in Kitwe.

Addressing the media, Ms Masebo said the samples were done through the country’s surveillance system led by Zambia National Public Health Institute.

“The sample was collected in October this year and after a series of laboratory analysis, the results have been confirmed,” she said.

Ms Masebe said although the virus has not been detected in humans, it is important that correct measures are taken to prevent it from spreading.

She said so far the ministry has conducted four rounds of vaccine, further urging parents to take their children for vaccination against the virus.

southern Africa has seen a resurgence of polio outbreaks, with Malawi and Mozambique having recorded cases of the virus.

Polio, is a disabling and life-threatening disease caused by the poliovirus.The virus spreads from person to person and can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 11th November, 2022)

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Health

Ministry of Health dismisses drug shortage claims

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THE Ministry of Health says there is no shortage of Anti-retroviral drugs in Zambia.

Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Professor Lackson Kasonka however explains that due to the world shortage of old ARV drug called Zidovudine, some people who have not transitioned to the new drugs have been affected.

Professor Kasonka clarified that shortage of Zidovudine is as result of its poor side effect profile hence increasing its low demand thereby disturbing its global supply chain and leading to its erratic supply in the last two years.

He however said in the quest to provide safer and more efficacious drugs, the optimization of antiretroviral therapy has since started.

“To this effect, 98.5 per cent of the 1,229,781 receiving ARVs are now receiving the newer, safer, easier to take and more efficacious dolutegravir containing ARV combinations called Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/ Lamivudine/ Dolutegravir commonly referred to as TLD or Tenofovir alafenamide / Emtricitabine/ Dolutegravir commonly referred to as TAFED. These drugs are fixed into a tablet and given as one tablet per day,” he said.

Professor Kasonka said the newer combinations were introduced in Zambia in 2018 and have since led to over 96% of Zambian People Living with HIV receiving ARVs to have the virus suppressed resulting in a healthier and more productive population.

He however said there still remain about 6,000 individuals who are taking old ARV drug called Zidovudine which the Ministry of Health has been transitioning from to TLD or TAFED.

“To this effect, the Ministry of Health in consultation with the Civil Society Organizations representing People Living with HIV and implementing partners has made a decision to accelerate the transition of individuals on this drug to better, safer and easier-to-take ARVs,” he said.

Professor Kasonka said government remains committed to ensuring people living with HIV in Zambia have adequate access to quality and efficacious anti-retroviral drugs, for a longer healthier life.

He said guidance has been provided to health workers to fast-track the transition from Zidovudine-containing ARV combinations to TLD or TAFED in view of new developments, based on scientific evidence generated from the African continent including Zambia.

He said a further reminder is given to dispense a six-month supply of anti-retroviral drugs as per standard guidance.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 15th September, 2022)

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MoH follows up case of suspected movement disorder at Lunte boarding school in Northern Prov.

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THE Ministry of Health is following up some suspected movement disorders which affected more than 20 pupils from Lunte boarding school in Northern Province.

On June 21, this year, the school reported numerous cases of pupils reporting similar signs and symptoms of difficulty in walking, weakness, and painful knees and ankles.

Speaking at a media briefing, Health Minister, Sylvia Masebo disclosed that of the 27 pupils affected, 15 have been sent back home by the school management for observation.

“The rest of those with mild symptoms remained in school. These pupils were placed in a designated isolation area within the school confines. Health workers have been assigned to monitor the pupils’ conditions daily.

To date, 18 recoveries were reported from among both those pupils sent home and those under school isolation.  I wish to offer the affected pupils and their families my assurance that this suspected movement disorder may not be a public health emergency,” she said.

(Mwebantu, Monday, June, 27th, 2022)

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ZAMBIA: COVID-19 STATS

07 Dec 2022, 4:17 AM (GMT)

Zambia Stats

333,746 Total Cases
4,019 Deaths
329,690 Recovered

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