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Zimbabwean concerns over condoms cash drying up next year

by Staff reporter
23 Jun 2024 at 05:46hrs | Views
At a forum organized by SafAids in Harare, concerns were raised by public health practitioners regarding the potential reversal of HIV prevention progress due to the looming end of international funding for condoms in Zimbabwe. Getrude Ncube, the national HIV prevention coordinator from the Health and Child Care ministry, highlighted the imminent cessation of donor support for condoms by next year, citing "donor fatigue" as a significant factor.

Ncube emphasized the critical role of condoms in Zimbabwe's HIV prevention strategy, noting heavy reliance on support from partners like PEPFAR through USAID. She disclosed that PEPFAR plans to discontinue condom funding from 2026 onwards, underscoring the urgency to explore domestic funding alternatives to sustain condom procurement.

Tsitsi Apollo, deputy director of the HIV and STI program, echoed Ncube's sentiments, emphasizing the importance of maintaining access to condoms to prevent any regression in the country's HIV prevention efforts. Apollo expressed concerns about the sustainability of funding post-2026, particularly in light of Zimbabwe's aspiration to achieve upper middle-income status, which could reduce eligibility for external funding from organizations like the Global Fund.

Raymond Yekeye, director of programmes at the National AIDS Council, highlighted broader challenges facing the HIV response in Zimbabwe and stressed the need for a sustainability roadmap to secure funding beyond current international grants.

In conclusion, the stakeholders underscored the urgency of finding alternative funding mechanisms such as health insurance and public-private partnerships to ensure the continuity of essential HIV prevention interventions, including condom programming and ARV treatment, amid impending funding cuts.

Source - the standard
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