People living with HIV and Aids are lobbying for a review of the National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe Act, and the appointment of a National Aids Council (NAC) chief executive who is living openly with HIV and Aids.
NAC is hunting for a new CEO following the retirement of Dr Tapuwa Magure in December last year.
In a letter dated February 17, addressed to the Ministry of Finance, Health and Child Care, Parliament and related committees and the National Aids Council board, 17 activists, a majority of whom are running Aids service organisations said a quarter of the NAC board should comprise people living with HIV.
“We are calling for the review of National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 15:14),” read part of the letter. “The Act is outdated and no longer in tandem with the HIV revolving trends, therefore, it needs an overhaul to align it with the current HIV trends. A quarter of the NAC board should be members living openly with HIV.
“We urgently call for the appointment of the NAC CEO, preferably a peer model as someone living openly with HIV and AIDS with a track record in civil society.”
They called for the removal of the NAC executive, recommending a new secretariat incorporating new people from civil society. The activists also demanded NAC to stop funding cancer activities, arguing that it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
“As people living with HIV, we are saddened at the recent developments in the NAC and the economic situation of Zimbabwe, they said. This is affecting our well-being and health, including that of our families,” reads the letter.
Meanwhile, the NAC has called for applications from interested candidates to fill in the position of CEO. According to the advert, interested applicants must possess at least a Masters’ degree in Public Health, Health Sciences, Social Sciences or Business Administration. The applicant must also have 10 years’ experience in a senior management position and experience in the field of HIV.