Remarks by U.S. Embassy PEPFAR Zambia Country Coordinator Bethany Baxter During the 2019 Sustainability Index and Dashboard Consultation Meeting

Remarks by U.S. Embassy PEPFAR Zambia Country Coordinator Bethany Baxter
2019 Sustainability Index and Dashboard Consultation Meeting
InterContinental Hotel, Lusaka, Zambia
September 4, 2019

 (as prepared for delivery)

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Dr. Kennedy Malama
UNAIDS Country Director, Dr. Tharcisse Barihuta
Ladies and Gentlemen

I am delighted to be here today to welcome you to the 2019 HIV/AIDS Sustainability Index and Dashboard consultation meeting.

I would like to recognize and thank UNAIDS.  As co-conveners of this meeting you have been an invaluable partner in organizing this process. I would also like to thank the Government of the Republic of Zambia for its visionary leadership in putting Zambia on the path to epidemic control.

Sustainability is a critical element to reaching and maintaining epidemic control here in Zambia.  Understanding challenges and opportunities is important for informing resource investment that will accelerate progress towards sustained HIV epidemic control.

The Sustainability Index and Dashboard, more commonly known as the SID, is designed to help the Zambian government, PEPFAR Zambia, and other stakeholders make informed investment decisions around sustainability, identify opportunities to leverage PEPFAR investments, and to monitor progress of reaching epidemic control.

Since 2004, the U.S. government, through PEPFAR, has contributed over $4 billion towards Zambia’s national HIV response. First initiated in 2015, the SID has been an invaluable tool to help to determine where HIV investments are made.

Every two years, PEPFAR and UNAIDS co-host this consultation meeting to ensure sustainability is incorporated into planning efforts in Zambia’s drive towards HIV epidemic control.  This is done under the leadership of the Zambian government.

The SID 2019 measures four domains and seventeen core elements necessary for sustainable HIV epidemic control. The SID process represents an opportunity for Zambian government, civil society, and other key stakeholders to jointly identify and address vulnerabilities and strengths of the national response, with the aim of advancing the shared goal of sustainability.

Your participation today is key as we assess and score each of these core elements which will develop Zambia’s overall 2019 SID dashboard.

Once all the elements are completed, the dashboard will provide a snapshot of Zambia’s HIV sustainability landscape. The dashboard will also reflect the great strides Zambia has made in these core elements over the last two years.

The dashboard will be instrumental in the development of COP20 and critical in determining where resources are focused.

Zambia’s national HIV response has made the possibility of epidemic control within the next year attainable, but reaching this goal within the next 16 months will require honest and candid dialogue about the strengths and weaknesses of Zambia’s national HIV response.

In closing, I would like to again welcome you and thank you for your participation.