HIV/AIDS effort faces funding shortfall

hivKADOMA Zimbabwes exclusion from countries that will receive financial support under round 10 of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria could hamper efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, a top heath official said last week. (Pictured: AIDS drugs -- The Global Fund has helped with cash to buy drugs and o

The Global Fund has been a major funder of anti-HIV/AIDS programmes in Zimbabwe, helping the cash strapped country with money to buy drugs and other medicines required to combat the deadly pandemic.

Charles Sandy, the deputy director of the TB and AIDS programme in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, said as a result of exclusion from the round 10 funds: Zimbabwe is going to experience challenges in implementing programmes aimed at promoting operational research and collaboration of TB and

HIV prevalence issues.

Zimbabwe is among countries worst affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, with an estimated 3 000 people dying weekly from AIDS-related illness, according to the National AIDS Council.

According to the councils figures, one in seven Zimbabweans is HIV positive, a sharp drop from the 1990s when the ratio was one in four.

The collapse of the health sector along with that of the public education system reflects the decayed state of Zimbabwes key infrastructure and institutions after a decade of acute recession.

The unity government of President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has promised to revive the economy and to restore health, education and other basic services.

But the administrations failure to mobilise substantial financial support from rich Western countries has hindered its national reconstruction programme.

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