The National Aids Council (NAC) has reaffirmed its commitment towards mobilisation of resources for HIV and cancer prevention programmes.
By Tadiwa Nyatanga-Pfupa
In an interview on the side lines of the NAC golf tournament prize-giving ceremony which was held recently, the NAC chief executive officer Tapuwa Magure said the organisation is working on mobilising more resources for HIV and cancer prevention to augment the National Aids Trust Fund, commonly known as the Aids Levy and donor funds.
An analysis of resource-allocation has indicated that treatment takes the majority of resources both from the Aids Levy and donor funds. This has left fewer resources for prevention, yet ending Aids by 2030 will significantly depend on preventing new infections.
“Holding of the golf tournament on August 31 to September 2 was one of the fundraising initiatives,” he said.
Magure added that even though they are revitalising the prevention of HIV and cancer it does not mean they have neglected treatment programmes.
He said; “While the revitalisation of HIV prevention is very vital to the HIV response, it will not interfere with provision of treatment services”.
Magure said they are working towards reducing new HIV infections in line with the UNAids political declaration. The declaration states that new HIV infections should be reduced to less than 500 000 by 2020.
Meanwhile, Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa commended NAC for strengthening focus on prevention. He said Zimbabwe should add prevention on the UNAids 90:90:90 targets, which are aimed at ending Aids by 2030. The UNAids 90;90;90 states that by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV should know their status, 90% of all those who are diagnosed HIV-positive to be on sustained Antiretroviral treatment (ART) and 90% of those on ART having an undetectable viral load.
Antiretroviral treatment if taken correctly is in itself a prevention measure.
The Health minister pointed out that over the years prevention has been forgotten and attention has been centred on treatment. He pointed out that successful HIV-programming should identify the sources of new infections such as mother-to-child-transmission of HIV, infections in institutions of higher learning, the spread of HIV through long-distance truck drivers, HIV infections in prisons and infections through sex workers.
“Effective programming has to target these key groups,” said Parirenyatwa.
NAC hosted a Golf Tournament from August 31 to September 2 to fundraise for the revitalisation of HIV and cancer prevention.
In Zimbabwe it has been noted that 60% of all cancer cases are HIV-related, hence the incorporation of the two conditions in the golf tournament resource mobilisation strategy.
Tadiwa Nyatanga-Pfupa is the NAC communications officer.