Lusaka 11 April 2016
At first glance there are many more reasons to be sombre than optimistic about Zambia’s future. Just looking at the number of people infected with HIV, makes you despair.
Out of a population of less than 14 million there are about 1 million adults with HIV. Hundreds of thousands of them have not yet received medication. Because of this every day healthy people are infected with the virus…
And that’s just one of the problems they have to deal with in Zambia.
Fortunately, there is also another fact, which does offer perspective. That is that there are people who put their hearts and souls into making the HIV and AIDS epidemic manageable. Dr. Lloyd Mulenga is one of them. Dr. Mulenga is head of the HIV clinic in Lusaka and initiator of the promising New Horizon programme. Intelligent and tireless. A man who has consciously chosen the gigantic task that Zambia has given him; a man who has consciously chosen Zambian HIV and AIDS patients.
In Zambia there are also half a million children with HIV. Children who don’t all get the right medication. Children who often find it difficult to faithfully swallow their medication every day.
Fortunately for them, there is Dr. Maria Tonga. She works at the children’s clinic and is one of those strong, tough women who never give up. With new and innovative programmes she is trying to give all the children their futures back. Because every child deserves that, is her simple explanation.
Finally, there is the class photo. And even though this is a class where everyone has HIV. And even though they don’t learn mathematics or a language and there’s only sex and health on the timetable, they look the same as all children in all class photos: they want a future and are determined to make something of it.