28 January 2019

Zimbabwe: HIV Prevalence Rate Drops

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MANICALAND has shed off its tag as the province with the highest HIV prevalence rate in the country.

This was after it managed to reduce the HIV prevalence rate compared to the other provinces, provincial medical director Dr Patron Mafaune has revealed.

Dr Mafaune said Manicaland province's prevalence was at 10,4 percent against a national average rate of 14,9 percent.

She revealed this while briefing Minister of State for Manicaland provincial affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba during her visit to Murambinda Mission Hospital in Buhera last week.

Dr Mafaune said Murambinda Growth Point was no longer an HIV hotspot.

"We are lucky that Murambinda Mission Hospital is one of the HIV management centres in the province," she said. "The growth point is no longer the HIV hotspot as people used to refer to it. In fact, Manicaland has the least HIV prevalence rate compared to other provinces, with the current rate being at 10,4 percent. The country has an average of 14,9 percent."

Buhera district medical officer Dr Shelton Kwiri bemoaned lack of Government support at the mission hospital.

Dr Kwiri said Murambinda Mission Hospital last received Government grants some three years ago.

"The hospital depends on donor funding, especially from its friends in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands," he said. "We last received funding from the Government sometime in 2015-2016. But we have been receiving grants for supporting staff."

Dr Kwiri told Dr Gwaradzimba that the hospital's infrastructure was now dilapidated.

Dr Gwaradzimba applauded the mission hospital for the HIV management programme.

She tasked the hospital administration to note down the challenges they were facing and forward them to her office so that she finds ways of assisting them.

"I will run around knocking at different offices scouting for resources and materials for the province so that our people will be happy."

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