The Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Services (SafAIDS) has urged men to support women during the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programme.

Despite the country having made significant progress towards averting thousands of new HIV infections in new born babies, SafAIDS have revealed that they have noticed an increase in the number of children between the ages of 0 to 9 years who do not adhere to treatment.

Speaking to ZBC News during a two-day workshop on clinic community collaboration meeting in Bulawayo, SafAIDS programmes co-ordinator Mrs Sazilinah Makumbe said there is need for men to support women in prevention of mother to child transmission beginning from pregnancy stage.

“As SafAIDS, we have noticed an increase of leakages in PTMCT caused by different barriers one of them being lack of support from males who are the heads of the house. Men are the ones who provide resources. The issue of adherence even after the child has been tested is problematic. Sometimes parents do not come back to the hospital for consultations with their children,” said Mrs Makumbe.

Mrs Makumbe also stressed the need for the community to work hand in glove with local clinics in ensuring that the health of children is prioritised.

Zimbabwe has an estimated 1.3 million people living with HIV and about 5.5 percent are reported to be children under the age of 15 years while women constitute 59 percent.