Texila American University joins in the fight against HIV

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Texila American University (Zambia) Deputy Vice Chancellor Ajay Kumar Poddar has pledged his institution’s support in the fight against HIV.

Professor Poddar said his university has set a target of producing a minimum of one thousand (1000) qualified doctors in the next 10 years with the aim of filling the gap of inadequate medical personnel in the industry.

He stressed the need to address the human resource deficit if the fight against HIV is to bear fruit, adding that health staff shortages, a lack of highly-trained medical staff, and capacity issues meant that even when physical resources are available, there is often not the health care personnel to administer them.

”Texila American University has always wanted to work with Zambia’s Government towards the betterment of the country’s health sector hence our readiness to extend full support in order to completely eradicate HIV,” said Professor Poddar.

He was speaking in Lusaka in reaction to President Edgar Lungu’s call for all citizens to get tested for HIV.

Professor Poddar has further bemoaned the high level of stigma surrounding people battling HIV despite the advancements in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

He says it is unfortunate that stigma discourages people from getting tested because they risk being discriminated against or treated differently in the event that they test positive of the disease.

“While the quality of life has improved enormously for people living with HIV in the past 30 years, thanks to anti-retroviral treatment and awareness and sensitization programs, many social and psychological barriers remain. Ultimately, HIV is not like any other disease, at least not in the way that the public perceives it. What separates it from other illnesses like cancer or diabetes and heart disease is that, as a communicable disease, those infected are often seen as vectors for transmission. Therefore, it is important to get the right information concerning this virus in circulation so that people can be aware that someone suffering from HIV is still one who desires love and acceptance,” Professor Poddar said.

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