All Set For ZIMPHIA 2 Rollout

ZIMBABWE will in a few weeks commence roll out of the Zimbabwe Population Based HIV impact Assessment (ZIMPHIA) 2020, which will examine the HIV situation by assessing the coverage and impact of HIV services at population level and measuring the HIV-related risk behaviours using a nationally representative sample.

By Michael Gwarisa

The survey marks the second Population Based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) after the first successful assessment which was held in 2015/2016.

Officiating at the ZIMPHIA 2020 National Sensitisation Meeting, Director HIV and Tuberculosis in the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Dr Owen Mgurungi said it was imperative to take stock of the progress that has been made form the first survey so as see how far the country has advanced.

 Zimbabwe has over the years made significant milestones in HIV programming. Our national prevalence rate has drastically come down from a high of 29% in 1999 to the current 14.1% amongst the adult population. The incidence rate, that is, number of new HIV infections has gone down from 1.03% in 2010 to 0.42% in 2016. This truly is remarkable progress and we owe it to ourselves and the hard work and dedication that we have produced over the years.

“According to the ZIMPHIA 2015-2016 survey results, in Zimbabwe 77% of people living with HIV knew their status, 88% of those people were on treatment, and 85% of those people on treatment were virally suppressed,” said Dr Mgurungi.

He added that the ZIMPHIA 2015-2016 showed significant progress towards reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020 and the global target to end AIDS by 2030.  The survey is being held through a partnership between the Ministry of Health, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT), National AIDS Council (NAC), ICAP at Columbia University through funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), with technical assistance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Despite these remarkable results indicating our progress and achievements so far, we cannot afford slow down or scale down our efforts. We need to continue to scale up on our innovations and best practices and ensure that we are reaching all key and vulnerable populations that are at high risk and ensure that we provide relevant HIV services and products.

[pullquote]“We also cannot continue to rely on our previous results and therefore the need to carry out another assessment and have the latest picture of the impact of the HIV epidemic in Zimbabwe.”[/pullquote]

He also said ZIMPHIA 2020 ‘s goal is to examine the HIV situation by assessing the coverage and impact of HIV services at the population level and measuring the HIV-related risk behaviours using a nationally representative sample.

“We highly recognize the importance of this survey and the need to ensure that we all rally behind it and support all the different components of the assessment. We will be having our highly trained teams of professionals who will be visiting selected households carrying out the assessment.

“Our appeal as a Ministry is that our different community leaders and communities comply and support the work of these teams. We have done our best so far to ensure that the teams will exercise the highest professional conduct as is possible and maintain professional standards of confidentiality.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am quite optimistic that ZIMPHIA 2020 will help us as a Ministry, key health authorities and policymakers to have a better understanding of the overall impact of HIV on the entire population of Zimbabwe, looking beyond people living with HIV. We are elated that ZIMPHIA 2020 will provide technical assistance at the national level to strengthen data collection systems, enhance laboratory infrastructure, and strengthen local human resource capacity.”

ZIMPHIA Director, Munyaradzi Mapingure said the bulk of new HIV infections were occurring in Sub-Sahara, Zimbabwe included and the 2020 ZIMPHIA survey will try address the some of the gaps that were exposed during the first survey.

The goal of the ZIMPHIA 2020 is to examine the distribution of HIV in order to assess the coverage and impact of HIV services at the population level, and to measure HIV-related risk behaviours using a nationally representative sample.”

He added the survey would help Individuals who know they are HIV-positive or are on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) know how they are responding to treatment.

“Individuals who know they are HIV-positive but currently not on treatment will have access to clinical care referrals, if wanted. Individuals who learn they are HIV-positive will receive referrals for clinical care as needed and wanted, including active linkage to care.

“The survey will also ensure that Individuals who learn they are HIV-negative will receive information about how to prevent HIV and families and communities who participate will be better able to support one another in regards to their health.”

The 2020 survey will look at a population sample size of 22,886 adults 15+ residing in 356 EAs.  The survey will make use of 10-module questionnaire and will focus on demographics which include Marriage, Reproduction, Male circumcision, Sexual activity, HIV testing, HIV care and treatment, Tuberculosis and other health issues, Alcohol use, AGYW exposure to DREAMS.

ZIMPHIA is a large, nationally representative household-based survey which provides an understanding of the burden of HIV disease at the national and sub-national level in a particular country. The survey measures national and regional progress towards the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 goals and guides HIV policy and funding priorities to improve HIV prevention and treatment programs.

Meanwhile, Branch Chief for HIV Services at Centre for Dieses Control (CDC) Zimbabwe, Dr Shirish Balachandra applauded Zimbabwe for the strides it has made in reducing the HIV burden since the previous survey.







Related posts