Relying On Donors For ARVs A Health Time-bomb Says NAC Boss

THE National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe (NAC) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Bernad Madzima says the prevailing scenario whereby the country relies heavily on donors for Antiretroviral medicines was unstainable.

By Patricia Mashiri

Zimbabwe is one of the countries with the biggest population in need of the antiretroviral (ART) medicines. It has a population of about 1.4 million people in need of ART.

Speaking at a National Dialogue on the Local Manufacture of Medicines in Zimbabwe, Dr Bernard Madzima said the country’s AIDS Levy is used to procure ART medications but it was not enough and there is need to explore other streams of financing the HIV response.

Zimbabwe has been depending on donor funding for both Adult (ART) and pediatric ART and this has greatly affected millions of people in trying to access the medicines. The biggest donors of the ART are the Global Fund and The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

“If we check on the Funding landscape for both Adult ARVs and the pediatric ART there is a worrying trend when we think about what might happen tomorrow when these biggest funders decides to drop out. As a country we buy our ART commodities using the little amount we get from the tax payers money,” Dr Madzima said.

 

 

Dr Madzima added that their mandate as NAC was to oversee the management and administration of the AIDS Levy, monitoring and evaluating national policies on HIV and AIDS.

“We facilitate strategic planning and implementation of the national strategic framework on HIV and AIDS, establish and realize appropriate HIV and AIDS mechanisms and structures at various levels promote advocacy for action to fight HIV and AIDS, encourage and support documentation as well as sharing of experiences, lessons learnt and facilitate expansion of “Best Practices”

“We ensure transparency and accountability in the disbursement and utilization of resources mobilized to fight HIV and AIDS through the AIDS levy and other sources. We also promote the Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV and AIDS (MIPA) in planning and implementation of interventions,” Dr Madzima said.

The National AIDS Council was established in 1999 to provide measures to combat the spread of Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) and management, coordination and implementation of programs that reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS. (The National AIDS Council Act Chapter 15:14 of 2000)

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