Incorrect HIV and AIDS data irks Hurungwe DAC officer

By Nhau Mangirazi

KAROI– Hurungwe District Aids Coordinator (DAC) Rumbi Manatsa vented her anger on HIV and AIDS taskforce teams presenting half backed data on presentation, treatment and care as well as enabling environment in the second largest district affected by high prevalence rate here.

Speaking during a stakeholders meeting held on Thursday here, Manatsa said it is disheartening to note some of figures were not worth presenting at a stakeholders meeting as they are ‘inconsistent’ thereby putting national projections of HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment at risk.

She said, ‘I am not happy at all as taskforce members and implementers are not giving us accurate data. Some of these figures are not real. We must revisit these as they raise eyebrows. We must be serious on these issues because they add value on intervention programs at provincial and national level as we look forward to eliminate HIV prevalence,’

Manatsa blamed compiling of data done in her absence but was not properly presented.

‘As DAC, we facilitate accurate information gathering and decimation across every stakeholder so that we are all well informed from our different backgrounds, but what we are witnessing here is not real. We must be serious on what we want to achieve as a district’ she added.

Karoi town council Social Welfare officer Richard Usavi who chaired the meeting buttressed Manatsa’s statement saying it is high time that data is presented accurately.

‘Let us try to make authentic presentation so that the Government and donor community will know how they can assist in the times of need. We must do our work as this is a calling to work for community,’ added Usavi.

However, Regina Munyulwa a local nurse who presented treatment and care taskforce report bemoaned that although women had high numbers for free counseling and testing, males remain with high positivity rate bracket in the district.

‘It is ironic that females are ready to be tested voluntarily but males who are taking the high positivity rate are snubbing our efforts. The worst affected age group of infected males is between 35 and 50 that gives a risk to young females who are not sexually active. Our mandate is to help reduce infection rate and we are ready to visit any client even at home as we seek to meet the 95,95.95 goal by 2020. This means 95 percent of the population know their status and those who may be Anti Therapy get access while those on ART may reduce their viral load,’ she said.

However, some stakeholders noted that viral load results are taking time for majority of the clients have been forced to wait for more months as the country has only five machines catering for the whole country.

The meeting was attended by Government departments, church and civil society members in the district on DAC third quarter evaluation.