THE United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)together with Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RB) have donated 10 000 hygiene kits to people living with HIV(PLWHIV) to protect and safeguard people living with HIV from the Corona virus. The donation has been made through the Zimbabwe National Network of PLWHIV (ZNNP+).
By Patricia Mashiri
This donation comes after the realisation that basic hygiene kits form part of the essential commodities necessary in the prevention and fight against COVID-19 and other ailments especially now that the country has relaxed lockdown regulations. Identified 10,000 vulnerable PLWHIV will each get nine soaps and three bottles of JIK.
In her Key note Speech Ms. Sophia Mukasa Monico, the UNAIDS Country Director said the donation was a contribution to the prevention of COVID 19 among communities of the PLWHIV.
This donation is a humble contribution to the prevention of COVID-19 amongst communities of PLWHIV who face the risk of a double pandemic of HIV and COVID-19. Recognising the fact that basic hygiene commodities are a vital tool to fight COVID 19, RB in collaboration with UNAIDS has provided hygiene/packs to your country.
“As Zimbabwe relaxes the lockdown measures, socialization has increased, schools have opened and mobility has resumed, the best protection aside from distance and wearing a mask is washing hands and disinfecting surfaces,” Monico said.
The National AIDS Council (NAC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) , Dr B Madzima pledged their support to the ZNNP+ and the PLWHIV in ensuring that their voices are heard so that they will receive universal health care.
“As a new CEO of NAC, we pledge that we will strengthen ZNNP+. There has been a lot of confusion in PLWHIV and their organizations. We want to make sure that we support ZNNP+ to play their coordination and regulatory role,” said Dr Madzima
Dr Madzima lamented the confusion in the PLWHIV sector which has largely been brought about by briefcase entities.
PLWHIV who were also present for the handover ceremony expressed gratitude to the UNAIDS for a kind gesture as the people living with HIV are the most vulnerable group in society. They have been facing a double trouble of the COVID-19 pandemic and HIV.
The donation came to ensure the continuity of essential and routine care of the PLWHIV. ZNNP+ has been making great strides in ensuring that PLWHIV have been accessing universal health care.