Condoms “Too Small” For Some Zimbabwean Men says MP

MUFAKOSE Legislator, Honorable Susan Matsunga has asked government, the National AIDS Council (NAC) and all partners involved in the procurement and distribution of condoms to consider the size of sexual organs for some Zimbabwean men whenever they place orders from manufactures overseas. By Michael Gwarisa She made these remarks during a question and answer session at a High Level Advocacy Meeting to Discuss Bottlenecks Affecting the Condom Market in Zimbabwe that was held in Harare weeks ago. I am an MP in my constituency and I get feedback from the…

Read More

US Government Injects US$54 Million Towards FACT’S DREAMS SMART Girls and Space for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Programs

The Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT-Zimbabwe) and its partners with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched critical programs worth more than US$54 million to help fight HIV in Manicaland and Masvingo. By Michael Gwarisa The programs are Sustaining Prevention, Increasing Access to Care and Empowerment for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (SPACE for OVC) and the DREAMS- Support, Maintain, Advocate, reduce Risk and Transform (SMART) Girls. Representing the Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister,  Mr Pastense Tarondwa, said…

Read More

Over 6,000 Children and Young People Virally Suppressed through Zvandiri’s Game-changer Project

THE Game-Changer program that was being implemented by Zvandiri, through a five year US$20 Million grant support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID and the Centre for Diseases Control (CDC) has resulted in the consistent uptake of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has attained 94% Viral Load (VL) suppression. By Michael Gwarisa Among some of the key achievements of the Fame Changer project include a Viral Load (VL) Coverage of 74% (6800/9191)  and cumulatively, Zvandiri supported 412 health facilities on the Game Changer grant with over…

Read More

Scrap Import Duty and VAT on Condoms…Partners Plead With Gvt, As Zimbabwe Records 15 Million Condom deficit

RELIANCE on donor funding for the National Condom program, coupled with a restrictive tax regime has resulted in Zimbabwe failing to meet its condom obligation of 173 million condoms per year, a development that could reverse progress made so far in the HIV response, HealthTimes has learnt. By Michael Gwarisa Zimbabwe’s national condom program comprise of public sector condoms, private sector condoms and Social Marketing condoms. However, increased donor fatigue has seen major donors such as the USAID and PEPFAR cutting their funding towards the procurement of public sector and…

Read More

Outcry As Major Funders Pull The Plug On Dapivirine Vaginal Ring Rollout

A cloud of uncertainty has gripped the envisaged roll-out of the Vaginal ring or Dapivirine ring in Sub-Saharan Africa amidst indications that two of the major funding partners,  the USAID and PEPFAR won’t be paying for the rollout of the ring but will now only support implementation studies. By Michael Gwarisa  The development comes despite some progress that had been registered on the African continent where some governments had already approved use of the Dapivirine ring as a method of preventing new HIV infections in women. Zimbabwe and South Africa…

Read More

From Heaven To Hell In 12 Months: A GBV Survivor’s Story

NOMAGUGU Hurumba (22) is an orphan and a single mother to a three year old son. Growing up in Chiredzi, especially after the demise of her parents was never easy. To compound her woes, when she was in Form 3, Noma had to drop out of school after her siblings had indicated that they were no longer able to shoulder her school fees burden. By Michael Gwarisa recently in Chipinge She moved from Chiredzi to stay with her sister in Chipinge. However, persistent economic hardships in the  country pushed her…

Read More

After Falling Off The Radar, Orphaned HIV Positive Boy Develops High Viral Load

A few minutes after bringing her son into this world, Simba Ncube’s* mother lost her life to AIDS related complications in 2010. Luckily before she died, Simba’s mother had registered her cousin sister, Ms Pride Ncube* as the next of kin and guardian to her child. On the fateful day, the hospital called Ms Ncube informing her that her sister had died and had indicated that she wanted her to raise her child. By Michael Gwarisa in Mutare However, a family feud ensued shortly afterwards with Simba’s maternal grandparents demanding…

Read More

Manicaland Child Marriage Survivors Find Solace In Economic Strengthening Programs

DUE to economic hardships and prolonged schools closure at the back of recurrent COVID-19 induced lockdowns, Marvelous Tsambe* (16) from Chikore Village in Chimanimani entered into an early child marriage at the age 14 as an escape from the challenges back home. However, to her surprise, marriage did not bring the much anticipated economic escape. By Michael Gwarisa in Manicaland  Just like most girls her age in her area, Marvelous fell for Majoni-Joni or those young men who illegally cross the border to work in South Africa. Whenever they return…

Read More

Health CSOs Consortium Sets New Priorities for COP22 PEPFAR funding cycle

IN the Country Operational Plan for the year 2022 (COP22), Zimbabwe’s health civil society organisations under the Advocacy Core Team (ACT) banner are embedding new health advocacy points which now qualify for funding by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). By Staff Reporter Health civil societies came up with health priorities they felt left out in the previous funding cycles by PEPFAR, some of which after relaxation of range of priorities, now qualify. Speaking to this publication on the sidelines of the COP22 CSO priorities setting meeting last…

Read More

United States Government’s Interventions See Rujeko Polyclinic Surpassing HIV Targets

RUJEKO Polyclinic, a council primary health care facility in Dzivarasekwa, Harare has through interventions from the United States Government (USG) attained 68% Viral Load Coverage (VLC), 96% viral suppression levels as well as increase access to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) to not less than 5039 people living with HIV around its catchment area. By Michael Gwarisa The Polyclinic’s catchment area has a total population of 88, 271 consisting of mostly low income and poor communities and HIV programs at Rujeko Polyclinic are being supported mainly by the U.S President’ Plan for…

Read More