Zimbabwe leads continental peers in HIV management Tendayi Westerhof

Mukudzei Chingwere in DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania

Zimbabwe has outdone, and is far ahead of continental peers, in general HIV management and the quest to end AIDS in children by 2030, National Director of Pan African Positive Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe Ms Tendayi Westerhof has said.

Ms Westerhof made the remarks here during the ongoing Political Launch of the Global Alliance to end AIDS in children by 2030 which opened with experts’ deliberations today prior to tomorrow’s participation of their political leadership.

Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga is expected to lead Zimbabwe’s participation at the launch tomorrow.

Zimbabwe has made major strides in ending AIDS in children by 2030, with all, more than 1600, health facilities equipped with antenatal care, labour and delivery offering prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT).

To this end, 1643 health facilities offer HIV management services like treatment and medicines dispensing, which has seen 94 percent of HIV positive adults being on treatment and 73 percent of children living with HIV initiated on treatment.

“I think as a country, Zimbabwe, is on the right track,” said Ms Westerhof.

“This global process to end AIDS in children is complementing the work that Zimbabwe is already doing at country level; that is the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV through the country’s validation process.

“It is possible for us to end AIDS in children by 2030. We are almost there. We are doing well as a country and our ministry of health is doing well in the elimination of mother to child transmission,” said Ms Westerhof.

She noted however, that there is still a gap which needs extra awareness to do with male involvement to adequately close the gap in possible new infections by reaching out to men in their social spaces.

Ms Westerhof also heaped praise on the manner in which Zimbabwe is taking care of those already infected through initiatives like the readily availability of free medicines to those living with HIV.

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