Government Applauds MSF Epworth HIV/TB Project

By Michael Gwarisa

HEALTH and Child Care Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa has applauded Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) for putting up a state  Epworth HIV/TB project which is aimed at combating the HIV and Tb epidemics.

Speaking during the handover ceremony of the MSF project to the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) today (6/12/2017), minister Parirenyatwa said MSF’s efforts in significantly reducing the HIV prevalence and new incidence as well as scaling up of antiretroviral therapy over the years were commendable.

“Our government remains committed to creating an enabling environment for work and participation of all stakeholders as evidenced by the fact that MSF support has been strong and resilient engendering continuous reduction in both the HIV prevalence and HIV incidence rates over the years since 2006.

My Ministry highly commends MSF’s efforts in significantly reducing the HIV prevalence and new incidence as well as scaling up of antiretroviral therapy over the years. MSF made giant-strides in providing treatment, care and support to a large cohort of HIV/TB/MDRTB patients in Epworth since 2006,” said Minister Parirenyatwa.

To date a total of 126 851 people have been tested in the Clinic and 27 515 tested positive which represents a positivity rate of 21.6% cumulatively. The total cohort stands above 10 000 currently under care at Epworth Polyclinic.

MSF has been providing treatment, care and support to a large cohort of HIV/TB/MDRTB patients in Epworth since 2006. In the last 11 years, MSF invested in capacity building of MoHCC staff, infrastructure development, including building of the Overspill clinic, Epworth OI/TB clinic, pharmacy, laboratory and partial rehabilitation of the Mission clinic.

“MSF introduced the concept of task-shifting by empowering nurses in the absence of Medical doctors and training of primary care counsellors in the absence of professional counsellors and or psychologists), decentralization of HIV/TB care and integration of services.

“As part of patient monitoring of patients on HIV treatment, MSF incorporated routine viral load testing and to date a total of 26 835 viral load tests have been done since 2014. MSF strengthened screening for TB in all HIV +ve patients and by end of October 2017 a total of 9 097 patients have received TB treatment at Epworth Polyclinic.”

The facility also provides technical support in the clinical management of MDRTB and training, counselling for MDRTB patients (including structured individual counselling +support groups) while investing in community based models of HIV (CARGS) as well as DR-TB care.

MSF also introduced the concept of task-shifting (empowering nurses in the absence of Medical doctors and training of primary care counsellors in the absence of professional counsellors and or psychologists), decentralization of HIV/TB care and integration of services.

MSF has also invested in community based models of HIV care and set up VIAC clinics for cervical cancer screening at the Overspill and Epworth polyclinics in 2014.

“Although the challenges have been huge, MSF support has also been strong and resilient engendering continuous reduction in both the HIV prevalence and HIV incidence rates over the years since 2006. These declines have given us buoyancy in the belief that, yes we can indeed do better and further reduce the burden of HIV in the country.

“MSF’s coterie of HIV prevention strategies, guided by appropriate humanitarian will and policies have remained sharpened, thus assisting us to reach the multifaceted milestones we have so far in the following vital areas: Adolescents and Paediatric Care; Cervical Cancer Screening; Laboratory services; Pharmacy services; Human Resources; developmental and construction work,” added Minister Parirenyatwa

MSF introduced Youth Friendly corner to cater for the social aspects of the special group whilst they receive clinical care at the Clinic. Nurses and PCCs were trained in HIV in Adolescents and Pediatrics.

Meanwhile, MSF also provided Cervical Cancer Screening through VIAC for HIV +ve women in Epworth Polyclinic. The first site was in Overspill Clinic in 2104.LEEP services now available and cryotherapy procedures are done on site. MSF trained appointed nurses and   the 2 Medical Doctors to conduct the screening through Newlands Clinic in collaboration with MOHCC. To date more than 9 000 patients have been screened for Cervical Cancer Screening between Overspill and Epworth Poly clinic.

A fully equipped laboratory with state of the art Lab Machines was constructed by MSF and donated to the MoHCC. A multipurpose pharmacy was constructed by MSF in 2015 and comprises of an inbuilt warehouse to cater for stocks of medication as well as dispensary stock.

MSF funded the salaries of 62 staff for Overspill Clinic and Epworth for a period of 2 and a half years from 2012 before the MoHCC took over the payment of the establishment.

Construction of Overspill Clinic, Epworth Poly Clinic Lab, pharmacy, Health Information Department, offices and consultation rooms; waste zone at Epworth Poly Clinic, Overspill Clinic and Beatrice hospital, installation of water storage tanks at Epworth Poly Clinic and Overspill Clinic.

Rehabilitation of ELB borehole which is supplying the clinic, community hall and ELB office. Procurement of 20kva generator at Epworth Poly Clinic for back-up power; lab equipment for Epworth Poly Clinic; dentist chair for Epworth Poly Clinic, Equipping of  VIAC rooms at Epworth Poly Clinic and Overspill Clinic.

“Donation of ambulance to Epworth Local Board, Land cruisers to Seke district and PMD office; Land cruiser pick up donated to Epworth Local Board; Computers donated to Youth Friendly Corner at Epworth Poly Clinic.

“As I conclude, I would like to salute the support from MSF for their dedication and fruitful humanitarian work in pursuit of improving health care among our communities through effective and high impact prevention programmes and services such as HIV counselling and testing, treatment, prevention strategies, provision of treatment to improve quality of life and avert death as part of the national response strategy.”

 

 

Comments

comments

Share

Comments

comments

Related posts

Leave a Comment