MORE than 15 000 households are set to benefit from the Zimbabwe Population –Based HIV Impact Assessment (ZIMPHIA) programme which is aimed at reducing HIV and AIDS status in the population of Zimbabwe.
By Edward Makuzva
The HIV and AIDS testing programme which is an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Care was launched in Harare last week by Health Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa.
Dr Parirenyatwa said the programme was set to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
‘’ The results from the survey will act as a baseline benchmarking progress towards the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets and help programs and resources towards populations at greatest risk and most in need of services and to guide future investments.
‘’ My ministry is very excited about ZIMPHIA as its results will offer us a platform as policy makers to better understanding the relative impact of the pandemic at population level, and it provided participants with an opportunity to know their HIV status.
‘’It is important that we align our programmes to national polices and ZIMPHIA has been designed to make meaningful contribution to specific results in the ZIMASSET, which is our national guiding blueprint for Scio- economic development’’, Parirenyatwa explained.
Dr Parirenyatwa said the survey aims to measure the burden of HIV and the impact of Zimbabwe’s HIV prevention, at national level and to estimate the prevalence of suppressed HIV viral load in infected adults.
The survey offers an opportunity as country to understand the pandemic and to design more effective interventions.
The minister said the population- based HIV impact survey will commence next month and is expected to run for a period of 6 months, and the results will inform social services planning related to improved service provision as envisioned under the Social Services and Poverty Eradication Cluster Matrix of ZIMASSET.
He said the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Zimbabwe and Global Fund has provided substantial resources for the survey.
‘’Trained nurses will provide HIV Counseling and testing, rapid test for HIV and Syphilis and providing results soon after testing in the convenience of a participant’s home.
‘’Same –day results for some individuals will include CD4 Counts and growth monitoring for children from 0-5 years and those who tested positive for HIV and Syphilis will be referred for care at the nearest healthy facility.’’ Said Parirenyatwa.
ZIMPHIA is a national survey being run by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, National AIDS Council (NAC), Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT), Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI), ICAP at Columbia University, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) and Westat.