Posted by Justin on March 16, 2017

The National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council (NAC)’s Sub Committee on Publicity and Documentation has unanimously elected Ms Rachael Kalaba as its Chairperson replacing Mr Kenneth Maduma who has since taken up a diplomatic posting in Egypt. The election took place on March 15, 2017.

Ms Kalaba, who represents the youth constituency on the Council, also chairs the Finance and Administration Sub Committee.

In accepting her added responsibility, Ms Kalaba said one of the major priorities that would preoccupy her Committee was ensuring that NAC fully asserts itself as the coordinator of the AIDS response particularly through communication campaigns which will have the effective participation of her Committee.

She noted with concern the continued under-funding of communication related activities at NAC partly resulting in what she termed low visibility of the organisation. She proposed a deliberate policy of all programme areas of NAC to factor in their budgets funds specifically for communication to drive the respective programme interventions.

Continued lobbying for the establishment of an independent AIDS Fund is another subject high on the Publicity and Documentation Sub Committee agenda against the backdrop of the Ministry of Health going ahead with the facilitation of the enactment of the Health Insurance Scheme envisaged to encompass HIV and AIDS related matters.

The Ugandan model of an AIDS Fund is being proposed as a possible ‘template’ which Zambia could adopt to ensure that the AIDS response attains and retains the prominence it deserves.

And NAC Director General Dr Reuben Kamoto Mbewe who was introduced to the Committee appealed to members, majority of whom are communication experts to help NAC effectively engage the media to positively contribute towards the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic.

The Publicity and Documentation Sub Committee was meeting ahead of the full Council meeting scheduled for 29 March, 2017.

Report prepared by the NAC Communications Unit.