Political Star Power in Zambia
Dr. Susan Strasser
October 22, 2010
This week, the government of Zambia received several high profile guest visitors
– including the country’s former president Kenneth Kaunda – who were in the country as part of an influential group to leverage political leadership and build critical momentum and support in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Dr. Strasser meets former Zambian president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, one of the Champions for an HIV-Free Generation.
Led by former President Mogae of Botswana, the Champions for an HIV-Free Generation is an all-star gathering of distinguished African leaders that advocate for increased efforts to prevent the spread of HIV on the continent. Participating African luminaries, referred to as “champions”, include politicians, religious leaders, and other well-known public figures.
As part of a four-day tour, which included meetings with current President Rupiah Banda of Zambia, the National HIV/AIDS Council, Zambian parliamentarians, the Ministry of Health, development partners, and other civil society organizations, the group visited a local district hospital supported by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to see HIV and AIDS programs in action.
Located in Lusaka province, Kafue District Hospital reaches a community of more than 150,000 people with important services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and provide medical treatment for children and families living with HIV and AIDS.
Since 2004, thanks to support from the Foundation – in partnership with the Zambian Ministry of Health, the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Kafue District Hospital offers a broad spectrum of HIV and AIDS services. This includes PMTCT, adult and pediatric care and treatment, counseling and testing, maternal and child health, tuberculosis testing and out-patient clinical services.
I had the chance to meet Dr. Kaunda as he and his group saw first-hand at Kafue the successes and challenges that doctors and nurses face on the ground to provide high quality medical care to a high volume of patients with HIV and AIDS.
These champions are an important voice throughout Africa to spread the message that we can create a generation free of HIV throughout the continent.
Read more about the Champions visit
, and the Foundation’s work in Zambia
Dr. Susan Strasser is the Foundation’s Country Director in Zambia.