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US pledges funds to fights Aids

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US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray says his country is planning to inject about $60 million towards Zimbabwe’s HIV and Aids programmes next year.

The envoy made the disclosure at the official opening of the Strengthening Laboratory Management towards Accreditation Training of Trainers workshop organised by the Zimbabwe National Quality Assurance Programme last week.

“Since 2000, the US government has invested over $245 million in Zimbabwe’s fight against the virus.

“In 2012, the US government will contribute an estimated $60 million to Zimbabwe’s national HIV and Aids response though the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief,” he said.

“This includes support for the treatment of 80 000 people and interventions to prevent mother-to-child-transmission of HIV for approximately 40 000 women living with HIV and Aids”.

He said since 2004, the US government through the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention had supported Zimbabwe’s laboratory systems through capacity building intiatives.

“Currently, the programme is in the second year of a five-year co-operative agreement worth approximately $9, 5 million,” he said.

Speaking at the Mpilo Clinic Opportunistic Infections Resource Centre, Ray said they had entered into two partnerships with the Mpilo Counselling Support Trust and the Binga district’s Kariangwe Mission, to curb the spread of HIV and Aids.

“The Mpilo Counselling Support Trust, which is a brainchild of Mirriam Siziba, will experience our commitment to build resources in the library, by donating books, videos and other materials that focus on healthy living, HIV and Aids and fiction,” he said.

“In Binga, we will engage in an ARV lending library and aids information centre with the Kariangwe Mission Hospital’s home-based care programme.

“The library will receive books, videos, bookshelves, and audio /visual equipment.”

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