THE Choma District AIDS Task Force (DATF) has come up with a strategic framework for tackling HIV related issues in the district.
District AIDS Coordinating Adviser (DACA) Veronica Mweemba has also urged traditional leaders to play an active role in helping HIV patients to adhere to treatment.
ZANIS reports Mrs. Mweemba saying this in Choma District yesterday during at a one day sensitization workshop for traditional leaders, headmen and the church organized by the Brethren in Christ Church (BICC).
She said there is need for these leaders to encourage villagers in their areas go for Voluntary Counselling Testing (VCT) to protect their lives.
She explained that leaders should ensure that people in their areas need to understand the dangers and impact of the disease in the community.
Mrs. Mweemba also appealed to spiritual leaders to desist from giving wrong information and misleading HIV/AIDS patients to stop taking their medication after being prayed for.
She pointed out that people should not be misled that the pandemic is curable but can only prevented.
She reminded headmen not to allow bad practices among their subjects but to rather discourage such vices as they have the powers as custodians of the traditional law.
Mrs. Mweemba noted that money being spent on traditional healers by patients can be channelled to other developmental programs in their communities and it can also help in reducing the number of deaths occurring as a result of wrong information from spiritual prophets.
She has since pledged organization’s commitment to assist communities in dealing with HIV/AIDS related issues.
She also thanked BICC for embarking on such a program of sensitizing traditional leaders, church leaders and other stakeholders in issues affecting communities like HIV/AIDS.