By TEDDY KUYELA
THE United States (US) Government has given a K1.5 million grant to 16 community-based health organisations to spearhead the fight against HIV and AIDS.
These include non-governmental, religious and youth organisations and community groups.
Speaking in Lusaka yesterday at the grants awards workshop, US Chargeâ€™ Dâ€™Affairs David Young said the US through the Presidentâ€™s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) will continue to provide grants to community health organisations to support programmes aimed at preventing the spread of HIV.
â€œThe government of the United States through PEPFAR is committed to working with the Zambian people and Government to control the AIDS pandemic and achieving an AIDS-free generation in Zambia.
â€œPEPFARâ€™s small grants programme provides opportunities for orphans and vulnerable children to grow and be able to make positive contributions to Zambiaâ€™s future, and HIV prevention. This programme is a pillar of our overall HIV portfolio,â€ Mr Young said.
He urged the award organisations to work extra hard and to accelerate and intensify prevention to reduce the annual rate of new HIV infections.
Mr Young said the organisations should also accelerate the provision of universal access to comprehensive and quality treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS.
Earlier, PEPFAR acting country coordinator Libby Brennan urged the organisations to strengthen the systems which will help to underpin Zambiaâ€™s response to HIV and AIDS.
â€œPEPFAR is proud to call these 16 community-led and implementing organisations partners. They are the driving force of sustainable HIV programming in Zambia,â€ Ms Brennan said.
And National AIDS council director general Jabbin Mulwanda commended the US government for providing technical and financial support to the governmentâ€™s efforts aimed at fighting the spread of HIV.
By TEDDY KUYELA