Zimbabwe, which is burdened by the HIV and Aids pandemic, is set to benefit from support of over
$100 million from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) over the next few years.
By Phyllis Mbanje
Although the prevalence rate has dropped from an all-time high of over 30% to around 15%, the country is still grappling with inadequate funding to curtail the disease.
Speaking at the launch of the Harare phase of the ground breaking survey, the Zimbabwe Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZimPhia), Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) country director, Beth Tippett Barr said Pepfar will continue to support the country to further bring down the prevalence rate.
She applauded Zimbabwe for being the first to implement such a survey, which is population-based and not based on data generated from people who have reached out to health institutions.
“This survey will allow participants to be tested for HIV and Aids from the comfort of their homes,” she said
ZimPhia survey data collection started in mid-October 2015 and has so far covered nine provinces.
The target is to collect data from about 15 000 households across the country.
For Harare, 1 699 households will take part in the survey, which seeks to measure the burden of HIV and the impact of Zimbabwe’s HIV prevention, care and treatment services.
The results from the survey will act as a baseline to benchmark progress towards the UNAids’ 90-90-90 targets and help to focus programmes and resources towards populations at greatest risk for HIV and in most need of services. ZimPhia results will also assist in guiding future investments in health.