Zimbabwe is poised to further improve its HIV prevention and treatment programmes after it received an additional $143 million grant from the Global Fund and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which rolls out this month.
By Phyllis Mbanje
The fund, which is aimed at sustaining and strengthening existing HIV services in the country, will run for a year and help scale up the fight against HIV-related ailments. The additional funding brings Global Fund’s HIV grant to Zimbabwe to $611 million.
HIV remains a major public health challenge in Zimbabwe with 1,4 million people believed to be living with the virus although the country has recorded a remarkable decline in HIV prevalence compared to other countries in the region.
The HIV grant aims to increase access to HIV treatment, with particular focus on the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, expanding HIV testing and counselling services, and scale-up of prevention for adolescents and in and out of school youth.
“This timely funding will sustain and strengthen existing HIV prevention and treatment services in Zimbabwe.
Significant advances have been made in recent years, but we must not be complacent. Services must continue if we are to further reduce the rate of new HIV infections, while also increasing the number of people initiated onto HIV treatment,” UN resident co-ordinator and UNDP resident representative in Zimbabwe, Bishow Parajuli said.
Implemented by UNDP, in partnership with the Health and Child Care ministry, National Aids Council and civil society organisations, the new funding will run from January 2017 until the end of the year.
Zimbabwe has made great strides in the fight against Aids, with the support of UNDP, Global Fund and other development partners.