UN donates ARTS sites and 52 pharmacy structures to government

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GOVERNMENT has received 40 anti-retroviral treatment (ART) sites and 52 pharmacy structures built by United Nations Development Partners (UNDP) to improve tuberculosis (TB) infection control among people living with HIV (PLHIV).

Speaking at the handover ceremony, UN resident coordinator Bishow Parajuli commended the commitment of external partners, professionals and government for their contributions in the battle to eliminate HIV and TB.

“It is important to take ownership and not just depend on external support. This year, there has been an increased budget, which is a good step… The world has moved forward in innovation and technology and we must bring that,” he said this Thursday in Harare.

“There have been 81 labs built, 401 solar facilities, storage spaces 52, 77 more being built. I know there are plans to expand on this. There is need to bring even private players on this because these are valuable basic necessities and touch on all of us.”

According to him, the development partners have funded Zimbabwean health interventions to the tune of over $1 billion in the last seven years.

Preventive Services principal director in the Health ministry Gibson Mhlanga said government is committed to ensuring patients access all services they require when they report at a health facility.

“You may all appreciate that the government of Zimbabwe is committed towards prioritising global and local initiatives focusing on improving and strengthening health infrastructure as well as strengthening the procurement and supply chain management for health related products,” said Mhlanga.
Estimated TB incidence declined to 208 per 100 000 in 2016 as compared to a peak of 617 per 100 000 in 2003. Out of the 28 225 cases diagnosed in 2015, 81 percent were successfully treated.

Health minister David Parirenyatwa has, in the recent past, acknowledged that many people are still dying while on treatment further calling for the need to ensure early TB case detection and initiation of treatment.

HIV prevalence is at 15 percent translating to at least 1, 3 million people living with the virus.