By Lerato Ndlovu
GOVERNMENT has promised to dismantle financial barriers to health care and increase investment in vital public services to achieve universal health coverage for everyone, everywhere.
Guest of honor Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Hon Chamunorwa J Mangwiro representing Vice President and Health Minister General C.G. Chiwenga (retired) said the insurgence of COVID-19 has caused the government to revamp the health system across the country and adjust to technology in the hospitals so as to ensure equal access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care.
“Our response to HIV has rebounded and continues to reaffirm despite being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the HIV prevalence has declined during the reporting period.
“Of the 1,3 million with HIV in Zim 90.3 % of the people are virally suppressed and contributing to national development, hence symbolizing that the country is near to ending the pandemic and reaching the goal by 2030,” he said.
He went on to state that the government is working tirelessly in ensuring that all the available pandemics are curbed and preparing for future pandemics.
“Government is geared to scale up measures that help curb the spread of HIV and AIDS, and adhere to delivery procedures.” He said.
“We now have to transform any delivery challenges that might hinder the delivery of HIV prevention measures”
Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial affairs and Devolution Mary Mliswa-Chikoka in her welcome remarks said the Province during the last year faced 1252 HIV death related cases and 16300 cases of COVID-19 an indication that the pandemic is not over.
“The HIV prevalence rate has decreased according to the 2020 statistics. A significant gap still exists for the children , l call up investment for more resources for Children testing for they are our future.
“It calls for integrated efforts and we must leave no one behind in closing the gap. Key populations like sex workers, artisanal miners, cross border traders, fishermen, all should be taken on board as we commit to community-led interventions,” she said.NAC Director Bernard Madzima said NAC programmes do not only exist in the offices but in the communities so as to help curb the HIV/ AIDS pandemic. “Its an honour to be here for the 33rd edition of the world Aids Day celebration and the 20th anniversary of National Aids Council. “As Zim we are also happy to have achieved 90% of the 95-95 target for 2025, and we will continue to fight as our theme states ” End Aids, End inequalities , End AIDS” so as to fight these pandemics,” he said.Survivor Mrs Really Makainganwa urged people to work together and fight the use of substance abuse for it pushes to HIV related issues. At the same time urged people to fight stigmatization of people affected and infected by the virus.