Zambia has seen significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS over the last two decades. In 2003, 61,000 Zambians were dying from AIDS-related illnesses every year. Because of the work of the Global Fund, in partnership with the government of Zambia and healthcare providers, AIDS-related deaths have declined by over 70 percent and new infections have been cut in half since their peak. The Global Fund also supports a larger goal that’s spearheaded by the United Nations: End the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
“In 10 years, I have no doubt that AIDS will become an issue in the history books, as long as we keep the lid on issues of misinformation,” says Siame of CHAZ. “With disrupters like COVID-19, we know that we will still have to do a lot of work to ensure that we get to that point. But I think COVID-19 has been proof of the [Global Fund’s] capacity to adapt to changing circumstances.”
Tembo of Cardinal Adam Memorial Hospital is hopeful that the additional measures coordinated by the Global Fund, including the shipments of Apple PPE, will help his patients feel secure enough to return for their regular treatments.
“Our patients will benefit because when they come to the facility, they know that they are protected as well,” he says.
Kalunga, Tembo’s patient, agrees, and has words of advice to other members of the community who may be nervous to come in for treatment.
“I go to the clinic; I haven’t gotten COVID-19. So, let them also follow my suit.”