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HIV drops one percent – survey

THE HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country has reduced by one percent according to the latest Demographic and Health Survey (DHS).
And Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde says the country has recorded remarkable improvement on health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) indicators and other national health sector development targets.
Central Statistical Office (CSO) director John Kalumbi said during the dissemination of the last part of the 2013/2014 Zambia DHS that 13.3 percent of adults are infected with HIV from 14.3 percent in 2007.
Mr Kalumbi said the HIV prevalence was based on dried blood spots tested in the laboratory using fourth generation Elisa test kits.
“Seventy-eight percent of women have been tested for HIV from 35 percent in 2007. For the men it has increased from 20 to 60 percent,” he said.
And Dr Kasonde, who officiated at the event, said the country has recorded remarkable improvement on health-related MDGs indicators and other national health sector development targets.
Dr Kasonde said Government is proud of the impressive performance in health related indicators such as reduction in child mortality and maternal mortality.
He said the success make government optimistic that with continued hard work, MDG number four on reducing child mortality and MDG five on reducing maternal mortality are clearly within reach of attainment by 2015.
“For example, infant mortality rate reduced significantly from 107 to 45 per 1,000 live births representing an improvement of 60 percent” he said.
Dr Kasonde said it is gratifying to note that even on the most challenging indicator of maternal mortality ratio, the country has recorded a reduction from 792 to 398 per 1,000 live births representing an improvement of 45 percent.
And United Sates (US) President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief senior programme specialist Ian Membe said the US government contributed US$3milion towards the project.
Mr Membe said the US government will always be available to offer help to make a difference.


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