ZNFPC, Partners Launches HIV Prevention Program For Young Girls and Women

IN a move that is meant to reduce new HIV infections in young people in Southern Africa, the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) and its partners Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA) and Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (NAPPA) have introduced a project that will integrate HIV prevention methods with Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) and their partners.

By Patricia Mashiri

The USD$100 872.00 SADC member countries resource mobilization initiative, is a two year funded project which is aimed at building capacity for peer led interventions delivered through adolescent and youth friendly service provision model. It will contribute toward the 95 95 95 targets.

In his remarks at the virtually launched project, Dr Munyaradzi Murwira, the Executive Director ZNFPC expressed gratitude to the governments of the three countries for their unwavering support.

Appreciation is extended to the governments of the three countries through our respective Heads of State for their unwavering support to ensure healthy nations free of sickness, your commitments to global, regional and national health commitments is clear testimony of the will achieve quality healthcare. Gratitude is extended to the heads of respective Ministries of Health, supporting line ministries, Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations and Development Partners for the continued support,” said Dr Murwrira.

He added that the adolescents and youths were the future of the country and there was need to involve them in planning and programming around programs meant for them.

“We understand that, ‘Nothing for Youths without Youths’ hence your involvement from the inception of the project. Your participation today testifies the commitment you possess to achieve the project goals.”

Mr Peter Machimbirike, the ZNFPC Director Technical Services said the joint project
would go a long way in reducing the HIV incidence in the three countries.

“We can see that there is a lot of cross boarder movement in the three countries which are neighbors to make sure that they contain the spread of HIV among the three countries. These countries were chosen because of their high HIV prevalence rates.

“Zimbabwe is going to implement the project targeting Matabeleland south mainly Beitbridge because of the socio-economic conditions in the area increasing the risk of HIV infection among them. The project seeks to address a lot of combination prevention among AGYW across the population in order to mitigate HIV incidences among that age group,” Mr Machimbirike said.

The project seeks to implement the Sexual Reproductive Health Rights  services and addressing the unmet needs of the target group which has been a missing in the southern Africa especially in Zimbabwe.

“They are going to be a combination of activities including comprehensive sexuality education, parent child communication, and service delivery as part of the mitigation program. We are looking at affording PEP, PREP,  and also condom programing in the communities as one of the programming to mitigate HIV prevalence.”

Meanwhile, Varaidzo Sosa a peer educator said the new project was a great initiative to the AGYW as they are the most affected one with HIV.

“The AGYW were in needy of these services. As a peer educator I find it easier to talk to them peer to peer to make them take these services. It is easier to talk and take advise from someone who is your age.”

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