Champions for an Aids Free Generation in Africa Applaud Zambian Legislators

Champions for an Aids Free Generation in Africa have applauded the efforts that National Assembly of Zambia is making to address issues of HIV/AIDS. This was when a Delegation of the Champions led by His Excellency, Mr Hifikepunye Pohamba, former President of Namibia paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the National Assembly Rt. Hon. Justice Dr. Patrick Matibini, SC, FCIArb, MP, on Friday, 11th May, 2018, at Parliament Buildings.
During the meeting, Professor Miriam Were, Chancellor of Moi University in Kenya said that one of the major issues the Champions wanted to establish was to what extent the National Assembly of Zambia had dealt with issues of HIV/AIDS. In response, the Speaker informed the Champions that the National Assembly was keenly involved in addressing issues of HIV/AIDS and he elaborated on some milestones that the institution had made which included;
-    Act to establish the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council (NAC), the body which superintends the fight against HIV/AIDS into existence;
-    Forging of strong relations with NAC to ensure that Members of Parliament participate significantly in the fight against HIV/AIDS;
-    Membership to the Coalition of African Parliamentarians on HIV and AIDS (CAPAH), an independent network of parliamentarians working together on HIV and AIDS efforts, whose objective is to effectively promote, advance and enhance Parliaments’ and Parliamentarians’ participation in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Africa;
-    Implementation of the Sexual Reproductive Health, HIV and AIDS and Governance Programme which is intended to strengthen the capacity of Members of Parliament in advocating for issues of sexual reproductive health, HIV and AIDS;
-    Demonstration on the use of the HIV self-testing Kit during a Parliamentary Session to ensure that MPs have a clear understanding of how it works and to educate others too;
-    The work of the Committee on Health in keeping a close eye on the initiatives of the Ministry on Health; and  
-    Questions by MPs seeking information as well as Ministerial Statements on the progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
When asked about how far the National Assembly had gone into the constituencies in talking about and addressing issues of HIV/AIDS by H.E Dr. Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, former Vice President of Uganda, the Speaker stated that the recently passed National Health Insurance Bill would have a far reaching impact in addressing issues of HIV/AIDS in constituencies as well as uplift the status of health care in general.
H.E. Dr. Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe reacted to the Speakers response by stating that since National Health Insurance had become law in Zambia, more effort was expected to be made in the fight against HIV/AIDS and she challenged the country to emerge as an example in the Southern African Region in that regard. She also applauded the National Assembly for the efforts the Institution has made so far in tackling issues of HIV/AIDS.
The Champions for an Aids Free generation in Africa had earlier in the day attended an award ceremony at Intercontinental Hotel at which their fellow Champion Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s First Republican President was awarded the 2018 UNAIDS leadership award for his unwavering commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS.
The Champions for an AIDS- Free Generation is an illustrious group of former presidents and influential African leaders committed to an AIDS-free generation. The Champions support regional leaders towards ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat. The group is headed by the Chairperson HE Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana and the group’s Secretariat is based in Gaborone, Botswana.