Anti-retroviral therapy lowers HIV/AIDS cases in Zambia

Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- The provision of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) has lower ed HIV/AIDS-related hospital admissions and reduced stress levels among health c a re workers, a study released here has revealed.
According to the study, quoted by the state-run Times of Zambia Wednesday, the r eports showed that in Zambia, there was less demand among HIV/AIDS patients for a ntibiotics and other medicines used to treat HIV-related infections, thereby low e ring costs and increasing availability for other patients.
The study was compiled by Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC) in con junction with the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC).
TALC programmes manager, Felix Mwanza, said the scaling up of HIV/AIDS services had not only brought increased funding for health care but also led to expanded e ngagement from activists and health care consumers.
Mwanza said capacity building and expanded HIV-related treatment had benefitted the entire health system while the integration of Prevention of Mother-to-Child T ransmission (PMTCT) had increased HIV testing and education among women.
He, however, said that some basic health care services and supplies were not eas ily available in the public system, forcing patients to seek them in the private system at their own expense.
“The need for skilled health care staff in AIDS treatment programmes has combine d with loan conditions imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Worl d Bank to cause a serious human resource crisis,” he said.
According to him, other findings are that the government is highly reliant on do nor support without building capacity of local health personnel or management st a ff.
Mwanza said the shortage of health care workers and medicine in the public healt h institutions had led patients to turn to traditional healers or self-prescribe with medicines bought in pharmacies.

30 july 2008 13:51:00

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