Government has assured people living with HIV who are benefitting under the Anti Retroviral Therapy Expanded Support Programme that it has the capacity to absorb them in the national programme when donors who are funding the project pull out mid next year.
News that the expanded support programme being funded by five donor agencies will be coming to an end when donors pull out in June next year had left many wondering what the future holds for them.
However, Health and Child Welfare Deputy Minister, Dr Douglas Mombeshora has assured the beneficiaries not to panic as government has in place contingency measures to absorb the people on the national anti retroviral programme.
Expanded Support Programme Working Group Chairman, who is also the National Aids Council (NAC) Chief Executive, Dr Tapuwa Magure said resources to cater for the Expanded Support Programme beneficiaries have been mobilised using the country funding mechanism, since it was known that the donors would pull out after three years.Â
At least 80 000 people, including more than 7 500 children in 16 districts across the country, are currently getting ARVs under the Expanded Support Programme.
Most of the patients are receiving first line regimen while 3 800 are on second line regimen.