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Zimbabwe Receives Additional U.S., British Funding for HIV/Aids Programs

  • Sithandekile Mhlanga

Zimbabwe's health ministry says it has secured additional funding from donors in the United Kingdom and the United States to increase the number of people receiving life-saving anti-retroviral drugs.

Deputy health minister Dr. Douglas Mombeshora said the fund would allow the country to add at least 60,000 people living with HIV onto the ARV program that is already assisting 80,000 patients.

Mombeshora, who did not disclose the total amount, was speaking with VOA on the sidelines of the 19th International HIV/Aids conference that ended in Washington Friday.

The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in the United States will provide the resources.

Mombeshora said the donors were pleased with the success and progress that Zimbabwe is making in implementing HIV/Aids programs, hence the additional assistance.

“We have been working closely with the British and United States governments and they are obviously pleased with the way we are managing the programs," he said.

"The additional 60,000 will narrow the gap of people requiring HIV/Aids treatment in the country.”

Dr. Angela Mushavi is the National Prevention Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Paediatric HIV Care and Treatment Coordinator in the health ministry. She says government has learnt a lot from the conference.

"We have learnt a lot that will help enhance the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the country and many other programs that we are working on. In this day and era, no child should be born with HIV," she said.

Speaking at the plenary session Friday morning, Dr. Yogan Pillay, South Africa's strategic health programs director, said African countries have made outstanding progress in fighting HIV/Aids.

But, he added, more donor funding is needed to maintain the efforts.

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