THE People Living with HIV (PLHIV) Situation Room has been launched in Zimbabwe as a means of enhancing communication and data collection system aimed at improving PLHIV engagement, inform service providers, and foster positive change in the HIV response.
By Michael Gwarisa
Speaking during a virtual launch of the platform, Zimbabwe National Network Of People Living With HIV (ZNNP+) Executive Director, Mr Tatenda Makoni said the facility will boost advocacy work and facilitate communication between Civil Society Organisations and the HIV community.
The program comes with a toll-free line and is able to send alerts to its participants, collecting realtime responses, and subsequently publishes gathered data. Organisations in the HIV response are able to ride-on this platform and track their programme indicators, including on client-satisfaction.
“With the PLHIV Situation Room our advocacy work will be data-driven which has been a missing link. It will make us responsive in real-time to the needs of PLHIV, as we will be able to receive information and queries from the recipients of care, plus refer these cases to respective service providers for redress,” said Mr Makoni.
He added that the move the situation room will also embrace the ever evolving dynamics of HIV, NCDs and disasters evolve.
“Today we talk of COVID-19. Its related lockdown measures make it difficult to provide physical peer to peer support. But the assistance and partnerships with organisations like the UNAIDS is making a big difference in addressing these constraints by equipping the PLHIV sector with technological tools to be able to virtually reach its wide membership and to still deliver on its core mandate. Thank you!
“In conclusion I am quite encouraged by the support from UNAIDS and other development partners, the National Aids Council, Ministry of Health and the Media. I pray it remains the same as we collectively endeavour to protect, promote and enforce rights of People Living with HIV and attain the 95-95-95 global HIV targets.”
Meanwhile, the situation room is a self-executing decentralized remote call centre hosted at the ZNNP+ National Office. Call centre teams located in all 10 provinces. There is a line dedicated to Young People and Key Populations Living with HIV.