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New HIV infections statistics worry Govt

by Staff reporter
17 Aug 2018 at 06:09hrs | Views
THE Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) has expressed concern over the rise in new HIV infections especially among adults, which is threatening national efforts to end AIDS by 2030.

According to UNAIDS statistics in 2016 Zimbabwe had 40 000 new HIV infections while MoHCC statistics show that in 2017 there was a total of 40 500 new HIV infections detected.

Prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) and TB programme officer for MoHCC, Mrs Rowesai Gandanga who was representing the director, AIDS and TB programme in the Ministry, Mr Owen Mugurungi revealed the statistics on Monday during a high-level stakeholder forum for HIV- Sensitive Case Management System workshop held in Mutare recently.

"Among the total of 1 323 629 of people living with HIV and AIDS in 2017 across Zimbabwe, 74 460 of them are children aged 0-14 while the other 3 800 children have been newly infected from last year. However, a total of 40 500 people have been newly infected with HIV," she said.

Director of social welfare, Mr Thuso Maphala said the forum was the first of its kind.

"We are pioneering an evidence based approach to policy making tools in the form of the National Case Management System for children," he said.

Meanwhile, Mrs Gandanga also chipped in saying focus was now on optimisation of data capturing tools and secondary distribution to partners of ante natal care attendees regardless of HIV status and to sexual partners of positive clients identified through other entry points and the community for key population.

Chief social welfare officer, John Nyathi also attended the forum. He indicated that the forum was a community based approach for responding to child protection concerns in Zimbabwe.

"It is also a component of the National Action Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Phase Three Child Protection Pillar," he said.

He also said in 2018 one of their priority focus areas will be on an integrated national management information system for child protection.

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