Stakeholders in Matabeleland South province say the 2020 Zimbabwe population based HIV impact assessment (ZIMPHIA) which kicks off mid-November will help the province to evaluate its accomplishments since the last survey.
The findings of the 2015-2016 survey showed that Matabeleland South had a high HIV and AIDS prevalence rate that stood at 21,7 percent but viral suppression among people on anti –retroviral therapy was at an impressive 63,9 percent. This is due to the programs that were launched by the Ministry of Health and Child Care aimed at fighting against the epidemic.
Speaking at the ZIMPHIA provincial sensitisation workshop held in Gwanda this Wednesday, the ministry’s Provincial Medical Director, Dr Rudo Chikodzore, said the ZIMPHIA survey will reveal the achievements to date and determine whether the goal to end HIV and AIDS by 2030 will indeed materialise.
“Matabeleland South is stepping up efforts to end AIDS by 2030. It is important to conduct surveys such as ZIMPHIA in order to see where we are as we strive towards ending the epidemic by 2030,” said Dr Chikodzore.
The Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs, Abednico Ncube, said while the province is on the right track to achieving its goals, it is imperative for stakeholders to work harder to ensure HIV services and products reach high risk populations.
“We need to continue to scale up innovations and best practices to ensure that we are reaching vulnerable populations that are at high risk. We should ensure that we provide relevant HIV services and products,” said Ncube.
Speaking at the same occasion, National AIDS Council Acting Chief Executive Officer, Amon Mpofu appealed to communities to support the data collection process for the survey to produce accurate statistics.
The population based household survey is targeting 22 886 adults in various parts of the country with findings set to inform policy makers on areas that need improvement in the fight against HIV.