The Zambia National Service (ZNS) Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff Major General Reuben Mwewa says the Service has developed various HIV/AIDS intervention programmes aimed at preventing and reducing HIV/AIDS infections among its military personnel.
Maj Gen Mwewa explained that the programmes are being implemented with support from cooperating partners and are in a bid to compliment Government efforts of ending HIV/ AIDS in the country by the year 2030.
Speaking when a delegation from the Botswana Defence Force paid a courtesy call on him at ZNS Headquarters on Monday this week, Maj Gen Mwewa stated that the programmes have also been designed to strengthen and scale up HIV testing and counseling among personnel.
“In terms of HIV/AIDS, we have been running a well coordinated, strong and effective HIV/AIDS programmes of course with support from various cooperating partners, which seeks to make military personnel more aware given the complexity of the HIV scourge,” he said
Maj Gen Mwewa disclosed that the Ministry of Defence last year undertook the seroprevalence and associated risk factors survey which brought out a number of issues, thereby prompting the Service to come up with several interventions to manage the scourge.
He further disclosed that the ZNS Health Services Branch is also actively participating in the implementation of the Extension of Community and Health Outcomes through seven health facilities and that plans are underway to extend the initiative to all health facilities to improve health care services.
Maj Gen Mwewa cited that the Service has opened up health facilities in all units across the country which are also offering services to the general public.
He added that the Service is investing in skills development medical personnel and increasing staffing levels in order to effectively respond to the challenging disease burden globally.
Maj Gen Mwewa noted that infrastructure is being expanded to carter for the growing population in areas were the Service has presence.
And Botswana Defence Force Delegation Leader Brigadier General Modomi Ntelamo said that his entourage was in the country to benchmark and exchange knowledge and ideas on HIV/AIDS response, healthcare systems, occupational health and safety.
Brig Gen Ntelamo mentioned that the Botswana Defence Force alone may not be able to successfully control the impact of HIV/AIDS hence the benchmarking exercise.
“We are looking forward to learning more about how you are preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Country, as this will enable us to replicate what is being done here in our country in order to control the disease,”he mentioned