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Sunday, May 26, 2024

VP Chiwenga Briefs Global Fund on progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

ZIMBABWE has witnessed a significant reduction in the burden of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria owing to a multi-sectoral approach by the government and the good working relationship with partners which include the Global Fund.

It is against this background that the Vice President, General Rtd Dr Constantino Chiwenga who is also the Health and Child Care Minister paid a courtesy call on the executive director of the global fund Mr Peter Sands at his offices in Geneva, Switzerland.

Among the many achievements recorded in Zimbabwe’s health sector is the significant reduction in TB cases over the years which has resulted in the country being removed from the list of the top 30
high-burden countries for the disease.

Emerging from a closed-door meeting with the executive director of the Global Fund Vice President Chiwenga revealed that the next plan in the fight against HIV AIDS, TB and Malaria is to increase the number of mobile X-ray trucks equipped with a laboratory being used to screen for diseases such as TB in rural areas to locate missing cases and put them on treatment.

“The meeting with the executive director of the Global Fund was a follow-up of the meeting with Mark Eddington in February when we came for the patient safety summit.

“The Global Fund is the one which has the biggest fund for our health programmes at home, for the period from 2024 to 2026 they have given us US$504 million and currently because of Covid-19 we still have an outstanding balance which we have now to make a justification for and utilise.

“As they are our biggest funders, we were discussing the areas in which they could assist us, and we agreed on outreach programs to test HIV AIDS, TB, diabetes, malaria and cancer, a programme which we launched two weeks ago in Chiweshe where they had assisted us by giving us eight vans and eight trucks for staff,” said Dr Chiwenga.

Zimbabwe is both a donor to the global fund and an implementer of Global Fund-supported programmes and to demonstrate the country’s commitment, President Emmerson Mnangagwa pledged US$1 million during the seventh Global Fund pledging conference held in New York in September 2022.

On the funding for the 2024 to 2026 allocation period, Zimbabwe has been allocated US$504 million for HIV, TB and Malaria and for building resilient and sustainable systems for health.

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