by Stephen chandisareva
Harare 10 August 2017 (News of the South) – HIV related deaths among children and adolescents has remained high in Zimbabwe despite significant advances in access to treatment, Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) has revealed.
According to the 2015 Ministry of Health and Child Care HIV estimates, in Zimbabwe approximately 77,000 children and 69,000 adolescent are living with HIV.
HIV is one of the leading causes of mortality among children and adolescents in accounts for 21 percent of children deaths in Zimbabwe.
More than 3, 400 children and 1,500 adolescents died of HIV-related conditions in 2015.
Speaking at the signing award of $20million from United States for International Development (USAID), Africaid Executive Director Nicola Willis said she was thrilled to receive support from USAID to scale up the Zvandiri model in partnership with the MoHCC in order to reduce the mortality rate of children and adolescent.
Zvandiri is a programme which was introduced in 2004 by the Africaid and Ministry of Health and Child Care in order to ensure that a comprehensive package of services was available to HIV positive children, adolescents and young people so as to promote their clinical and psychosocial well-being as well as reducing mortality rate.
“Our work will help achieve epidemic control by increasing the number of children and adolescents living with HIV who know their HIV status, getting more children and adolescents living with HIV on treatment, helping those on treatment to adhere well to their, medication and have suppressed viral loads, she said.
Africaid received a funding award through a corporate agreement worth $20 million from USAID aimed at scaling up and expanding its innovative Zvandiri model for five years from 2017 to 2022, in 22 priority districts in Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the same occasion, USAID Zimbabwe Mission Director Stephanie Funk, said there are impressed with the work and commitment of Africaid in providing the needed support to children living with HIV
“Their work has been made possible through the Zvandiri Model that has captured the attention and excitement of health development workers across the world.
The signing ceremony was graced by the Zimbabwe’s Minister of Health and Child Care Dr David Parirenyatwa.
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