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'No child should be born with HIV' says Grace Mugabe

by Staff Reporter
02 Dec 2013 at 04:05hrs | Views
First Lady Grace Mugabe has said no child should be born with HIV or be infected at birth because preventive treatment is readily available and accessible in the country.

In a speech read on her behalf by Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni at the World Aids Day commemorations in Chivhu yesterday, Mugabe said all leaders and parents should promote uptake of mother to child transmission services.

"As a mother of the nation, I feel immensely pained to realise that some children are still born with HIV or acquire it after birth and we eventually lose them," she said.

"All mothers out there, let us unite and vow that no child must be allowed to be infected with HIV at a time there is adequate drugs to prevent HIV."

Mugabe condemned all forms of child abuse and called for stiffer penalties to deter perpetrators of such offences.
She said Government should expand male circumcision and increase resources towards other proved interventions such as condom use, abstinence and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

Mugabe said young people should take advantage of empowerment projects spearheaded by President Mugabe and abstain from early sexual activities.

She said although resources for HIV would be strained by the recent adoption of the WHO's 2012 guidelines which increases the number of people in need of ARVs from 860 000 to 1,2 million, Government remained committed to fighting the pandemic.

Government through the National Aids Trust Fund supports 30 percent of all people on treatment. "I want to assure the nation that Zimbabwe remains committed to universal access to treatment and as such efforts are in place to ensure that all people in need of treatment receive the ARV medicines," she said.

Mugabe urged the National Aids Council to share results of the review of the Zimbabwe National Aids Strategic Plan phase 2 (ZNASP 2) with all stakeholders to ensure corrective action was taken. According to ZNASP 2 the country is on course to achieving some of its Aids targets.

In a speech read on his behalf by his deputy Dr Paul Chimedza, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said people could only access treatment when they knew their status.

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Source - Herald