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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Global fund applauds Zimbabwe’s fight against HIV, TB and malaria

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

ONE of the biggest international health funders, The Global Fund has applauded Zimbabwe’s policies in the fight against HIV, Tuberculosis and malaria, saying the country has done well in reducing cases.

From 27 percent in the 1990s to the current 12.9 percent, Zimbabwe’s HIV prevalence rate continues to decline, owing to various interventions by the government and its partners.

A meeting recently held between Vice President General (Rtd) Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Health and Child Care Minister and the Head of Global Fund Grant Management Division, Mr Mark Edington saw Zimbabwe’s administration of HIV, TB and malaria funds being commended.

Mr Eddington noted, ‘‘The Global Fund has invested US$2.1 billion in Zimbabwe, not because we are generous, we do that because there is a need and because Zimbabwe has delivered concrete interventions in the fight against the 3 diseases as well as COVID-19 health system strengthening over the years. We will continue to support the government, we see the progress has been good. We have been impressed with the progress. There are relatively few countries that have done what Zimbabwe has done. Having said that, even at 95 95 95, no one can rest on their laurels.

“There is still a risk of people falling off treatment, there is a risk of the other 5 percent and we did discuss briefly with his excellency that in the other 5 percent there are some key populations where the infection rates are still relatively high and there will be need to have increased focus on that going forward but overally, the fight against HIV in Zimbabwe has been a success. The AIDS Levy has been a good initiative and has made sure that more money goes into the fight against HIV, so we welcome that.’’

Zimbabwe has secured a place on the list of Southern African countries such as Botswana that have reached the United Nations Programme on HIV AIDS HIV target of 95 percent in terms of testing, treatment and viral suppression by the year 2025.

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