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TERAPROOF:User:desbreenDate:09/11/2010Time:15:02:47Edition:10/11/2010Wedwedecho101110Page:12 Zone:EE

EE - V3

12 NEWS (YHQLQJ (FKR Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In the third day of her series on life in Zambia, Evening Echo reporter Helen Walsh turns her attention
to HIV/Aids in Zambia, the treatments available, and the measures being taken to reduce the epidemic.
EDUCATION SITTING in her tiny living
room, Nelia Makasa covers
IN ZAMBIA her face as she describes how
antiretroviral treatment has
WHO will take care of the children? helped in her battle with
What will they eat? These were just two HIV.
of the questions asked in a sketch by
primary school pupils at a Lusaka The mother-of-one lives alone with
school. her son Jack, aged 13, in the Matero
Two sisters recited a poem about the township of Lusaka.
danger of HIV/Aids. Although very frail, Nelia’s condi-
$LGV NLOOLQJ SDUHQWV DQG OHDYLQJ RUSKDQV tion has improved since she began
EHKLQG 6WURQJ DQG KHDOWK\ G\LQJ antiretroviral treatment (ART).
$LGV LV D NLOOHU $LGV LV D GHVWUR\HU, they “I used to be bed-ridden and was
said in unison. in constant pain but the ART has
At Matero Ana Amasiye School Project helped changed that.
in Lusaka, the girls were among a “Before I couldn’t bathe and clean
number of primary school students who myself, but now I can sit up and my
performed sketches about HIV brother-in-law gave me a wheelchair
prevention and the impact of Aids. to get around.”
In schools, the day starts for many The wheelchair sits in the corner
students with a brief lesson about HIV of the room, essentially a plastic
and Aids prevention. In one lesson I patio chair on wheels.
witnessed the children reciting their Although her condition has im-
ABCs — Abstinence, Be faithful to one proved, Nelia still relies on her
partner, and Correct use of condoms. carer, Henry Mwango, who visits her
Despite concerted efforts to educate twice a day and helps with chores,
children from a young age, there are fetching water and cooking.
still many misconceptions about HIV ART is the main treatment for
and Aids in Zambia. Aids and HIV positive patients. It is
In 2007 nearly two thirds of young not a cure, but taken twice a day for
people, aged between 15 and 24, could life can help people from falling ill.
not reject major misconceptions about In 2004, President Mwanawasa de- Care worker Henry Mwango with his homebased care patient Nelia Masaka in her home township. Picture: Amy Colley
HIV transmission or correctly identify clared HIV/Aids a national emer-

Irish groups
ways of preventing sexual transmission gency and promised to provide ART
of the disease. to 10,000 people by the end of the
year. Having exceeded this target, he
AIDS IN ZAMBIA set another to provide free treatment
for 100,000 by the end of 2005.
● AT the beginning of 2008, Zambia Today, approximately 64% of the
had the highest HIV prevalence rate in 440,000 people in Zambia needing
the world. ARV treatment are receiving it, and
● The country’s HIV prevalence rate is a third of all health facilities in the

help fight Aids
estimated to be 14.3%, signifying that country are able to offer treatment.
about one in every seven adults (aged The life-saving treatment does not
15 to 49) is infected. come without any consequences.
● Infection rates are higher among Mwicha Nanbela, a pharmacy as-
women, with one in every six adult sistant at Our Lady’s Hospice in
woman infected compared to less than Kalingalinga in Lusaka, explained
one in every eight adult men. how the different drugs worked and
● An estimated 41,250 adults died from the combinations they are taken in.
Aids-related causes in 2009. This Describing the side effects, she

in Zambia
means there were 113 deaths every said patients have experienced bone
day or five every hour of each day. marrow suppression, which has led
● 8,300 children died from Aids-related to anaemia while on Zidolam, as
causes in 2009. This is almost one well as peripheral neuropathic pain
child dying every hour. (affecting the nerves) in their legs.
● A the end of 2009, 64% of the Other side effects can include
440,000 people in Zambia needing Stevens Johnson Syndrome,
ARV treatment were receiving it and a whereby cell death causes the epi-
third of all health facilities in the country dermis to separate from the dermis
were able to offer treatment. create large, open wounds, while
● The total number of HIV-infected HIV also leaves people more suscept- Global Fund and PEPFAR - the US organisations, which help adminis- It would be a disaster.
pregnant women who received ARVs to ible to opportunistic diseases such President’s Emergency Plan for Aids ter similar schemes throughout “The ARVs suppress the disease
reduce mother-to-child transmission as gastroenteritis, ulcers, tubercu- Relief - with Zambia receiving F109 Zambia, are also concerned that and they ward off Aids.”
increased to 41,286 in 2008. This losis and pneumonia. Shingles is million in 2006 alone. However, the next month’s budget here will see a It costs approximately F10 a
means that an estimated need of almost synonymous with HIV. delivery of the programme relies on reduction in foreign aid spending, month to treat one adult.
84,568 ARV treatment is reaching 49% For Nelia, the treatment has led to the involvement of many NGOs and which would have devastating ef- Cork native, Sr Kay O’Neill, dir-
of HIV-infected pregnant women. double vision and she shields her missionary projects like Our Lady’s fects on people in developing coun- ector of Our Lady’s Hospice, said:
● At the end of 2007, at least 750,000 eyes as she shares her story. Hospice. tries like Zambia. “Thank God for ART, but with the
of Zambia’s 1,291,000 orphans lost The provision of ARV treatment There is concern that the Obama Mwicha said: “If the funding for Bush funds coming to an end, there
their parents to Aids. was made possible by an unpreced- administration will withdraw from ARVs was withdrawn, we would is an uncertain future.
● Figures relate to 2008/2009 ented amount of funding from the the scheme, while Irish development notice the effect almost immediately. “We pray the government will con-

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