THE Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids Foundation (EGPAF) Zimbabwe, on Thursday gave the Zimbabwean Government Point Of Care Early Infant Diagnosis (POC-EID) equipment worth over US$1 000 000, which is set to improve testing of HIV, and other STIs such as Syphilis for mothers and infants.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
EGPAF handed 41 POC-EID machines with service and maintenance agreements that cover the next four years until 2023, 41 modems for the machines, 183 SMS printers with service maintenance agreements and three Gene Xpert Machines.
The equipment will go a long way in reducing the time from sample collection, processing and issuing of resulting results to care givers from 90 days to same day,” Health and Childcare Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said this while officiating the handover ceremony.
As the National Validation Committee of the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and Syphillis sat for the first time this year, Dr Moyo challenged it to have no geographical and sector blind spots in both the public and private sectors.
“First there is need to see Antenatal Care booking of 95 percent or higher. The second is to get HIV and syphilis testing coverage at 95 percent of higher. Lastly, HIV, syphilis treatment coverage should be 95 percent or higher,” said the Minister.
EGPAF Zimbabwe Acting Country Director Dr Tichaona Nyamundaya said their machines are part of their efforts to envision reduced infant mortality.
“Moving HIV testing closer to patients using point of care HIV diagnostics offers the opportunity to significantly reduce HIV pediatric mortality and morbidity,” he said.