One Million Zim Children Orphaned By Aids

Presenting a report on the current HIV/AIDS situation, NAC Chief Executive Officer Tapiwa Magure, said Matebeleland South topped as the province with the highest prevalence rate of 21.6 percent.

The HIV/Aids prevalence rates for the other nine provinces are Manicaland 20.2 %, Masvingo 19.7%, Midlands 16.3%, Bulawayo 14.1%, Harare 12.2 %, Matebeleland North 17.4 %, Mashonaland East 13.7 %, Mashonaland West 16.7 % and Mashonaland Central 12.9 %.

“Orphans due to AIDS are estimated at 1000 000,” Tapiwa Magure, said.

The Zimbabwe National Aids Council receives funding from government through the Aids levy introduced years ago but says funding has been a major problem over the years especially when the country was still using the Zimbabwe dollar.

However, last year when the country introduced the US dollar and other hard currencies the organisation managed to get US$ 5 million dollars while this year they are expecting to get US 15 million dollars.

NAC which receives its funding from international donor organisations has been dwindling due to the global financial crisis that hit developed nations last year.

“International financial crunch has resulted in limited funding towards HIV/AIDS,” Magure said.

Magure currently 315 617 people are receiving anti-retroviral drugs while close to 600 000 people are in urgent need of the life saving drugs according to the new World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.

WHO said all the people living with HIV and Aids with a CD4 count of below 350 must be on the anti-retroviral treatment.

Zimbabwe has seen a decline of HIV prevalence rate over the last from 15.6 % in 2007 to 14.2 % in 2009, a decline attributed to behavioral change and awareness campaigns.