The ZAMPHIA2020 Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting took place in Lusaka from the 10th to the 11th of September 2019. Over 65 technical working group members and key stakeholders were present.
The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Lunda Shibemba, the National Coordinator for Pathology & Laboratory Services at the Ministry of Health.
In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Shibemba said that the Ministry had made great effort to invite a highly skilled team to attend the TWG meeting.
“I am confident that we have the right people in this room needed to complete the tasks set out in the objectives of this meeting”. Dr. Shibemba said as he declared the meeting officially open.
Project Director, Dr. Kumbutso Dzekedzeke remarked that the ZAMPHIA2020 is a forward looking project with tremendous improvements expected in the implementation of all the thematic areas.
Dr. Dzekedeke added that he was expecting a detailed and budgeted week by week work plan for the entire project as part of the key outputs of the TWG meeting.
He stressed that his team had a tight deadline to be met for the submission of the work plan to CDC.
Speaking on the side-lines of the meeting, ZAMPHIA2020 Principle Investigator and Ministry of Health National Coordinator for HIV Treatment & Care, Professor Lloyd Mulenga said that he was happy that the data that will be generated from the study is going to be stored in Zambia.
“We want the data to be stored in Zambia using our existing structures and systems
as a way of securing patient data and improving transparency around the study”, Professor Mulenga commented in an interview with the ZAMPHIA2020 communications team.
Mr. Dylan Edwards, a management partner from Aspen Management Partnership for Health (AMP Health), an organisation supporting Ministry of Health in community mobilization cautioned that there was need to focus on already existing community mobilization structures.
“Zambia is an incredibly diverse country and top-down approaches are seldom as successful as bottom-up ones.” Mr. Dylan said in an interview.
Network of Zambian People Living with HIV/AIDS Executive Director, Mr. Fred Chungu added that his organisation welcomes the initiative to link treatment and care for those found positive with the HIV virus as this was a gap in the previous PHIA study.
The TWG meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health (MoH), National Aids Council (NAC), University of Zambia (UNZA), University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Tropical Disease Research Centre (TDRC), USAID, Network of People Living with HIV (NZP+) Central Statistics Office (CSO) and University of Maryland Baltmore (UMB).
The University of Maryland Baltimore with funding from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) will conduct the 2020 Zambia National Population HIV Impact Assessment (ZAMPHIA 2020).
ZAMPHIA2020 will assess progress towards achievement of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets on national and subnational levels. The data will be used to focus HIV services and resources to the areas of greatest need and help move Zambia closer to HIV epidemic control.