Nurses to prescribe ARVs to HIV positive patients


MASVINGO — Government is planning to introduce a new policy to allow nurses to prescribe anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to HIV-positive pregnant women to cut the red tape and reduce the country’s maternal
mortality rate.

Report by Own Correspondent

Addressing a media workshop on the elimination of pediatric HIV in Masvingo on Wednesday, Dr Angela Mushavi, the national co-ordinator for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, said they had already started engaging relevant stakeholders over the matter.

Currently, the prescription of ART is done by doctors only.

“We had dialogue with the Nursing Council and the Health Professionals Authority to revise the initiation of ART. The scope should be changed,” Mushavi said.

“Nurses do a lot of things and this is but an addition. It is a policy shift and we are working on that to make it clear that nurses can do it. The nurses examine the pregnant women and test them. So if the women are positive, they should just get everything that they require where they have sought medical attention.

“We have doctors, but they are few. Twenty-six percent of all HIV-positive pregnant women are dying because of lack of adequate care. We need to decentralise because most women go to rural health centres or to municipal hospitals.

“Eighty percent of all pregnant women and those who are delivering are attended to by nurses while 10% are attended to by doctors. We want nurses to prescribe ART. We do not see why they cannot.”

Mushavi said the country’s maternal mortality rate had increased over the past few years and it was crucial that steps were taken to reverse that trend especially by adopting new pro-active policies.


  1. nurses play a very crucial role in the health delivery system and are easily accessible. a good move indeed. not necessary to lose lives where it can be avoided. we should all say no to maternal deaths

  2. A very brilliant idea maybe should staart by allowing matrons , sisters in charge , community nursing sisters, DNOs ,(those who r hands on) to administer and progress to nurses in charge of our RHC

  3. Disease has a way of getting rid of unwanted people in the population. It is usually homosexuals and people prone to promiscuity (sleeping around) that get HIV. In adult monogamous relationships where a married couple is faithful to each other, it is impossible for one or both of them to become HIV positive if both of them were negative at the start of the relationship.

    The big issue with disease in Zimbabwe is that we refuse to admit how sexually immoral we really are. Aldultery, homosexuality and pre-marital sex with multiple partners are the three major causes of HIV.

    The innocent ones are those children born to parents who have HIV.

  4. Of course, there are cases of people getting infected through rape, or through contaminated blood or instruments at a hospital, dentistry or clinic etc. All of these also reflect the poor condition of our society both socially and infrastucture wise. We need to get our house in order.

  5. ethel mano, how many rural health centres dzine vanhu vose vawataura avo, matron ,dno, sic etc. Those pple are in their offices many times, so ngazvidzike kuma nurses who deal with pple at low levels. like ma midwives, general nurses

  6. I dont why some women keeps on getting pregnancies when they know very well that they are HIV positive? Whats the rationale behind getting those pregnancies?

    • I mean some women are generally not aware. They get the virus from their spouses and never know cause HIV lies dormant, multiplying itself for as long as 15 years. Also consider the fact that some of these women are not exposed to the knowledge of birth control or may not have access to it. I don’t think these women would purposely get pregnant knowing that the chances of that baby getting infected to a very high, not to mention the fact their life span is not that long so the child maybe orphaned at an early age.

  7. Ask the PMDs before you shout. It has been since practised for the last two years. Always check with those on ground before you expose your ignorance to the public.

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