Health authorities map out strategies to sustain progress on HIV

By Theophilus Chuma

Health authorities are scaling up efforts to consolidate achievements in the fight against HIV, amid revelations that the country is working towards local production of antiretroviral drugs.

The country has made progress is areas such as testing and early detection of HIV, raising awareness and treatment that have worked well in achieving the global vision of ending the epidemic by 2030.

According to a presentation made by the National Aids Council (NAC), based on the country’s AIDS Monitoring Report submitted to the World Health Organisation, the country’s progress highlights strong commitment in the fight to end the epidemic.

“We are on track to putting more people on ART and also have scaled up efforts to control new infections. The prevalence rate has also shifted positively and we are now at 11.9 percent. This is in line with the Zimphia projections.

“However, we still have challenges on mother-to-child transmission and this is what we will be working on to reduce the worrying figures that still remain high,” said NAC Technical Advisor Amon Mpofu.

Amid global fears that Covid-19 will likely dent the progress recorded on HIV programmes, Zimbabwe is coming with a number of initiatives to ring-fence its achievements.

NAC Chief Executive Officer.Dr Benard Madzima says, “Indeed the Covid-19 pandemic has posed a lot of challenges not only to the HIV programmes, but the health sector as a whole.

“But there are key measures we are looking at such as the local manufacturing of anti-retroviral drugs and other consumables for use in our programmes.”

Domestic resource mobilisation has become a key component to help cushion developing nations against donor fatigue at a time resources are being channelled towards fighting Covid-19 pandemic.