Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
Government is working on nationalising the HIV and Aids self-testing programme, a move that is likely to see all public health institutions offering and distributing test kits, a senior health official in the Ministry of Health and Child Care has said.
Head of Aids and Tuberculosis Unit Dr Owen Mugurungi said this follows successful implementation of the initial pilot programme which proved that Zimbabweans were comfortable with HIV self-testing (HIVST).
Dr Mugurungi said as a result, Government was looking forward to nationalise the programme to all provinces across the country starting this month.
“The project, has delivered outstanding results, which motivated the investment of additional funds for phase two, which will be launched in mid of July 2017. Under phase two, HIVST will expand to all provinces in Zimbabwe and will be scaled up to explore additional distribution models,” said Dr Mugurungi.
He said HIVST will also be integrated into public health facilities and clients will be allowed to take kits for distribution to their partners.
“It will also be integrated at heath facility level and offered to clients for distribution to their sexual partners to reach partners who are not able to access health facilities for HIV testing,” said Dr Mugurungi.
He however, said HIVST will continue to be delivered at community level — where the first phase of the project was conducted — to ensure access for people who cannot travel to health facilities.