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Mnangagwa hails HIV fight gains

by Staff reporter
10 Oct 2023 at 05:59hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has attributed Zimbabwe's population growth to significant achievements in HIV prevention and a reduced maternal mortality rate.

Zimbabwe has made substantial progress toward achieving the UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets, which aim to reduce new HIV infections by 95%, provide 95% access to anti-retroviral treatment, and achieve 95% viral suppression by 2030.

During the opening of the 20th International Inter-Ministerial Conference on South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Population and Development in Victoria Falls, President Mnangagwa praised the efforts of partners, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in maternal health services that have led to a decrease in maternal mortality rates.

He stated, "Over the years, the government of Zimbabwe has made significant strides in implementing the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development. To-date, the total population of Zimbabwe has doubled from 7.6 million in 1982 to 15 million in 2022."

President Mnangagwa attributed this population growth to an improved quality of life, as well as a decline in HIV and AIDS-related mortality rates due to increased availability of Anti-Retroviral Treatment and reduced mother-to-child HIV transmission.

He also noted that the fertility rate has steadily decreased, and life expectancy at birth has increased thanks to comprehensive socio-economic and healthcare interventions.

Zimbabwe's national maternal mortality ratio has decreased from 651 per 100,000 live births in 2015 to 362 per 100,000 live births in 2022.

President Mnangagwa emphasized that Zimbabwe has made progress in social development, resulting in improved rankings in the Human Development Index.

Through partnerships, Zimbabwe has filled gaps in health service provision, with specialists from countries like China and Cuba coming to assist in healthcare delivery. Fellowships and capacity-building programs have also helped Zimbabwean health workers attain specialized postgraduate qualifications.

Lydia Zigomo, UNFPA regional director, stated during the conference that South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) can enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of development assistance activities, aligning with the UNFPA's Strategic Plan 2022-2025 to accelerate development progress. She emphasized that leveraging SSTC initiatives will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other development frameworks.

Source - newsday