Luapula Province Public Health Specialist, Danny Katongo has disclosed that the Province is at 82 percent Viral Load Suppression among people living with HIV/AIDS.
Dr Katongo says with the Fast Track goal of 95-95-95 intervention in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic the Province has intensified its efforts in ensuring that 95 percent of the people who are HIV Positive know their status and also are put on treatment so that their viral load is suppressed.
He reveals that the Province has so far managed to put 91 percent of people who are HIV positive on treatment with the aim to achieve HIV epidemic control by the end of this year.
Dr Katongo disclosed that by spectrum projection Luapula Province has 62, 000 people living with HIV /AIDS.
He observes that with the viral load suppression rate of 82 percent it is prudent that the Province increases medication.
“The Viral Load Machine which the Province has is centrally located at Mansa General Hospital which means that all the samples have to be taken to the Hospital for testing,” Dr Katongo says.
Dr Katongo explains that with the geographical set up of the Province it becomes a bit difficult to collect all the viral load samples from all the districts in the Province.
“We have put in place a robust currier system with the help of USAID and other partners who collect viral load samples from all the Districts in the Province so that the samples can be reaching the General Hospital on time,” indicated Dr Katongo.
He points out that access to viral load in the Province is currently at 75 percent but the Province will continue putting up different measures to increase access even to those in the remotest parts of the Province.
And Luapula Province Principal Biomedical Scientist, Liteta Muchokela reveals that the Viral Load Laboratory in the Province has the capacity to run 72, 000 samples of viral load annually.
“The Ministry of Health has really worked very hard to improve viral load testing in the Province which has enabled more clients to be serviced,” says Mr, Muchokela.
He explains that the results are made available within 14 days regardless of the District where the samples are coming from and this has improved HIV/AIDS treatment in the Province.