Zimbabwe Launches HIV and Wellness Board

GOVERNMENT yesterday launched the Zimbabwe Private Sector HIV/AIDS and Wellness Coordination Board (ZIPSHAW) which will oversee the implementation of HIV and wellness programs in working setups by both the private sector in a bid to reduce the scourge of Non communicable diseases and HIV in work places.

By Michael Gwarisa

The board is chaired by renowned business executive Mr Jonson Manyakara and an array of other experts from both health and the private sector.

Officiating at the event, Minster of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Dr David Parirenyatwa said HIV and Wellness programs in workplaces should be taken seriously and the new board should coordinate activities in an orderly manner so as to successfully combat the challenges at hand.

“We are now taking the private sector to fight HIV in a coordinated manner, a recognised. We have said where is that gap that can be filled by private sector so that we can close it.  We know that 1985 was the first time to have identified the first HIV case in Zimbabwe which was discovered at the National Blood transfusion services and at that time there was of stigma.

“That is when we created small using to deal with that, we then opened the National Aids Council to deal with the scourge. The major purpose of the board is to coordinate all the activities of HIV in this country.

He added that formation of the board is part of the government’ s100 day plan target which was proposed by the President Emerson Mnangagwa.

He also said the board should also look at activities by faith healers, traditional healers and other players who are directly or indirectly linked to HIV treatment and prevention. The board should also look at wellness, exercises and fitness and he implored even hotels to have gyms so as to promote wellness programs.

The ZIPSHAW board comprise of Johnson Manyakara (Chairperson), Silvester Mushaike (Vice Chairperson), members include Dr Enock Tatira, Dr Tinashe Magumise, Nathan Banda, John Mufukare, Jeremiah Tevera, Emmaueul Mutemeri, Golden Magwaza, Takawira Maswiswi, Dr Magurew (NAC), Mrs Ida Chimedza (ILO), Dr Choto (MoHCC).

National Aids Council (NAC) Chief Executive Officer Dr Tapuwa Magure said the new board would ensure a strong HIV response rate by both the public and private sector.

“This new board would ensure a more effective and efficient private sector response to HIV and wellness in Zimbabwe. It is truly a reflection of commitment towards ending AIDS in Zimbabwe. While there is much to be done in terms of reducing new HIV infections, it is encouraging to note that the successes that have been accomplished have really been quite pleasing over the last decade.

“Over the years, the private sector has made tremendous contribution to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. A number of sector strategies have been created, with a sizable number of companies having HIV and wellness programs in their workplaces,” said Magure.

Meanwhile, UNAIDS country director, Mr Girmary Haile said Zimbabwe was on the right direction towards eradicating HIV and Aids and the new ZIPSHAW board would go a long way in strengthening and government’s efforts of fighting HIV.

“We terms of our need for coordination, we will continue to work together. The private sector contribution is quite important. Our colleagues in government are so much involved in the response and they really don’t see the milestones which have been achieved by Zimbabwe.

“From my observation from Zimbabwe for a long time is that the image that we have about Zimbabwe is the face of Hon David pare, he has brought a very strong message to the whole world now. You have represented your country globally very well.

He said the Zimbabwe pharmaceutical industry should be revitalised and production of HIV drugs should be done locally. 94 percent of generic drugs in Zimbabwe come from India.








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