Consultations Around Youth Engagement In Global Fund Grant Kick-Off

YOUTH Engage Zimbabwe, together with Country Coordinating Mechanism (CMM) to end HIV, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria, have embarked on massive youth consultations following a Global Fund award to Zimbabwe  of US$75.073 million which is aimed at strengthening community health systems and constructing an improved resilient to deal with the effects of COVID-19.

By Patricia Mashiri

The dialogues seek amongst other things  to engage civil society and young people to come up with priorities submission that will be included in the C19RM request proposal leading to strengthening of community health systems ultimately shaping the future of the health delivery system such that it is resilient enough to better deal with the effect of Covid 19.

Speaking during a youth engagement, Martin Odiit, the UNAIDS Country Representative said the COVID-19 pandemic had greatly affected the youths there was need to find key areas where the youths are lacking and ensure they have sustainable livelihoods.

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the lives of the Adolescent and Young People including Young Key Populations and young people living with HIV. Therefore it is important to identify evidence based measures to ensure the ability to sustain their livelihood and ability to access HIV services. The COVID-19 pandemic itself has also affected people’s mental health. We thank the Global Fund for the support that it has provided to Zimbabwe within the COVID-19 response mechanism initiative.

“UNAIDS place very high priority on HIV programmes for the youth. In this regard, the new Global AIDS strategy 2021 -2026 targets youths explicitly in at least two of the 10 result areas. Result Area2 which is Adolescent , youths and adults living with HIV, especially key populations and other priority populations, know the status and are immediately offered and retained in quality, integrated HIV treatment and care that optimize health and wellbeing.
“Result Area7 states that Young people fully empowered and resourced to set new direction for HIV response and unlock the progress needed to end inequalities and end AIDS,” Odiit said.

Speaking at the same dialogue event,  Harare South Legislator, Honorable Tongai Mnagangwa, said government had played a pivotal role in mobilizing resources to curb the spread of the COVID-19 and he urged the youths to prioritize themselves in the fight against the pandemic.

“Government has made great efforts to mobilize resources to support the nation’s preparedness. The government engaged with China our all-weather friends, from engaging with China to engaging with other recognised partners such as the Directors, Director Martin from UNAIDS. I’m happy that you the young people also have priorities; you need to fight this pandemic. You need to get into it.

“I have noticed that in my constituency most people do not wear masks, when I go for a meeting with them I need to actually take masks with me it’s because they think the disease is not there. I therefore urge you that when doing your discussion here prioritize the things that have negatively affected you during this pandemic,” Mnangagwa said.

At the meeting, the youths came up with requests and categorised issues in accordance to how they they want them made accessible in three groups namely control and containment, risk mitigation and health and community system.

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