The Times of Zambia, 23 November 2002, Lusaka, C/Belt, Southern Provinces Top Aids Cases

Zambia (Ndola) - A RECENT study by the Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) shows that Lusaka, Copperbelt and Southern provinces have the highest number of HIV/AIDS infections.

The preliminary survey report carried out by the central statistical office (CSO) and the Central Board of Health (CBoH) between November 2001 and May 2002 indicated that Lusaka had 22 percent, Copperbelt 20 and Southern Province 18 percent HIV infections.

The report said that above the national average, Northern and North-Western provinces had 16 per cent.

The preliminary survey report said results show that people who live in urban areas were more than twice as likely as rural residents to be infected.

And officiating at the ZDHS dissemination meeting in Lusaka yesterday, Health Minister Brian Chituwo challenged participants to examine the results and make comments with a view to incorporating them in a final report of the survey.

He was hopeful that everything was being done to ensure sampling proceeded on a scientific and statistically accepted basis.

Dr Chituwo said the dissemination meeting would provide a platform on which major stakeholders would be updated on the major findings of the study

And the Ministry of Health will begin distributing Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs meant to benefit 10,000 people countrywide next month.

Health Permanent Secretary Simon Miti revealed this in an interview in Lusaka yesterday and explained that the distribution of ARV was delayed because Government wanted to ensure that the drugs were properly stored and secured against pilfering.

He said the fight against the AIDS epidemic needed a multi-sectoral approach hence the presentation of the national HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council bill to Parliament to ensure that everyone participated.