Strategically, a combination of pre-ART register auditing, index testing and targeting high yielding sub district populations supported the mop-up. The practice of extending clinic hours and offering flexible opening hours is a key intervention allowing for daily ART initiation as well as weekend ART initiation.
Having successfully completed the geographic information system (GIS) mapping of the healthcare facilities and road infrastructure in Zambia, EQUIP’s country programme is now poised to provide rapid test and start roll-out support, differentiated models of ART delivery with a focus on multi-month scripting and dispensing at facility and community level, as well as centralized chronic medicine dispensing and distribution.
The EQUIP Zambia programme also provides strategies and technologies for more efficient increases of HIV testing yield; initiation and retention on ART; and viral load suppression for both children and adults. Innovative approaches that support the rapid scale-up of viral load monitoring, and demonstration projects focused on HIV self-testing, are also a focus area of the EQUIP programme in Zambia.
Zambia has enjoyed 25 years of successful multi-party democracy, with two peaceful transitions between ruling political parties, making the country an example of peace and security in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nevertheless, much remains to be done to advance development. Three out of four people still live in extreme poverty and the country faces major challenges, including high unemployment, low agricultural productivity, inadequate road and energy infrastructure, poor education outcomes, and health crises caused by HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
Zambia has tremendous natural resource wealth but faces increasing threats to its environment, including deforestation and wildlife trafficking, and the effects of climate shocks. Due to economic, social, and biological inequalities, women are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS than men.