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Zimbabwe adopts new male circumcision strategy

by Staff reporter
24 Mar 2019 at 14:04hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has launched a new Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Strategy which will be in force until 2021.

The new strategy replaces the Accelerated Strategic Costed Operational Plan (ASCOP), first official VMMC Strategy, which ended in December last year.

At a dissemination meeting of the new VMMC strategy held in Harare on Thursday, VMMC national coordinator, Sinokuthemba Xaba, described the initiative as a major success.

"The tremendous progress we have made over the last few years in this initiative, gives me so much positive pride to be associated with this next phase of the VMMC programme," said Xaba.
He added that VMMC is one of the high impact HIV prevention initiatives adopted by the government as part of effort to contain the HIV/Aids scourge.

"The overwhelming and clear evidence of its impact in reducing chances of contracting HIV by 60 percent made us to jump on board and adopt this initiative as we knew the HIV burden that was on our country's shoulders," Xaba said.

Though the VMMC national coordinator is happy with the success of the various HIV prevention initiatives, he was quick to point out that the HIV/Aids scourge remains a very big challenge.

"Although significant progress has been made in reducing the incidence and prevalence rates in our country, much more concerted efforts are required…an estimated 1.3 million people in Zimbabwe are living with HIV.

"HIV prevalence among adults aged 15 – 49 years has declined by more than half in the last two decades, from 32 percent in 1997 to 13 percent in 2017. Overall, new HIV infections have been declining, and currently stand at 0.47 percent among adults aged 15 – 64 years. Despite the decline in our HIV prevalence and incidence rates, there still remains the need for us to seriously continue to innovate as we seek to address this challenge in our nation," he said.

Source - dailynews