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Zambia – Factfile


Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa.
The neighboring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of the country. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest.

Despite some significant decreases in some populations and in some geographic areas, Zambia‘s HIV epidemic has stabilized at high levels. The country’s HIV prevalence of 14.3% is among the highest in the world. The epidemic has a gender bias with more women (16.1%) living with HIV compared to men (12.3%). In 2009, it was estimated that 226 new adult infections and 25 child infections occur each day. The main mode of HIV transmission in Zambia is unprotected sex with an estimated 90% of adult infections being related to unprotected heterosexual activity. The transmission of HIV from mother to child during pregnancy, birth or breast feeding is believed to account for 10% of new infections in Zambia.

Zambia’s population is projected to reach 15.5 million by 2015. According to the 2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey, the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is 6.2 at the national level, reaching 7.5 in rural areas. The contraceptive prevalence rate is 25 per cent for modern methods. The unmet need for family planning is 27 percent overall but rises up to 47 percent among women aged 40-44 especially in rural areas. Current efforts to enhance activities and programmes in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights by the Ministry of Health are evidenced by the existence of policies and strategies to support them.

SRHR and HIV Linkages Project

The key objectives of the Joint UNFPA/UNAIDS Project on sexual and reproductive health and HIV linkages in Zambia which is running between 2011 and 2014 are to:

  • Support integration of HIV and AIDS and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the context of national health and broader development strategies, plans and budgets,
  • Enable Zambia to link efforts on integration of SRHR and HIV better and scale them up effectively;
  • Stimulate and enable the formulation, documentation and dissemination of lessons learned and best practices.

Key Achievements to date

1. Conducted the rapid assessment in 2011 which highlighted the following as some of the key findings as:

  • Existing policies and/or plans promote high level of integration between SRHR and HIV. There is however, no consolidated SRHR and HIV policy.
  • SRHR and HIV integration policy is included in the 2010 National Health Policy, 2005 HIV Policy and, 2008 Reproductive Health Policy respectively. The policy and strategies required HIV and SRHR services to be delivered at one stop point through comprehensive approaches.
  • Existing strategies such as the 2010 National Health Strategic Plan and 2010 National AIDs Strategic Framework promote HIV integration in SRHR.
  • Existing structures of the Ministry of Health also promote integration. However, earmarked funding streams especially from external partners, may be barriers to HIV integration and linkage with SRHR.
  • There are various high level committees and working groups that have been put in place to spearhead policy formulation and monitor implementation and promote HIV linkages with SRHR. However, some of these technical working groups and committees require strengthening in order to support the national integration agenda.
  • Although, MOH has joint annual planning, and budgeting, there is need to further strengthen and harmonize these existing efforts in order to optimize integration and linkages.

2. Technical consultations with national stakeholders were conducted through which

  • Review of findings and recommendations of the SRHR and HIV linkages assessment and also
  • Identification of priorities in scaling up linkages at policy, systems and service levels (including priorities to end stigma and discrimination were done.

3. Mapped and reviewed on-going and upcoming national policies and planning and reviewed processes for health and development for opportunities to address the agreed priorities on SRHR and HIV linkages.

4. Ensured support of the key sectoral stakeholders and development partners

5. Advocacy and support for the national efforts to strengthen SRHR and HIV linkages

6. Restructuring of the technical working group to reflect HIV and SRHR integration under the Adolescent Health Technical Work group (ADH TWG).

7. Strengthening existing structures: Because the project’s technical committee is part of an already existing Adolescent Health Technical Working Group, the projects even in its inception phase helped to strength and create synergies between RH and HIV technical working groups within the Ministry of Health as well as between NAC and MOH.

The Ministry of Health
National AIDS Council
Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS)

To find out more about this project click here


Key Publications and Resources


Good/Promising practice: Love Life? Ziba HIV! HIV Testing and Counselling Campaign Experience, Zambia 
A PowerPoint Presentation from the 3rd RPSC meeting – 23 September 2013. A campaign highlighting the strategic use of HIV testing as an entry point for integrated SRHR and HIV service delivery.
Year 2013 | Authors: UNAIDS, UNFPA, EU, Ministry of Health, Zambia, UN Zambia
(Download PDF)

Policy Brief: State of SRH and HIV integration in Zambia 
Year 2011  |  Authors SAFAIDS, TIP, Youth Vision Zambia, Population Action International
(Download PDF)

Rapid assessment of sexual and reproductive health and HIV linkages: Zambia.
This summary highlights the experiences, results and actions from the implementation of the Rapid Assessment Tool for Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV Linkages in Zambia.
Year 2012 | Authors IPPF, UNFPA, WHO, UNAIDS
(Download PDF)


For further information about the SRHR and HIV linkages project in Zambia, please contact:

Dr Andrew Kumwenda
Program Officer HIV & AIDS,
UNFPA, Zambia;
Mobile: +260976553990

Mwansa C Njelesani
Project Coordinator

Kafue National Park, Zambia

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