Donors to quit funding HIV, AIDS pgms

Top donors to the country’s HIV and AIDS programmes will not renew their funding as they are looking at new areas of assistance, including water and sanitation.

Henry Madzorera
Henry Madzorera

Sources at the National Aids Council said organisations such as Medicines Sans Frontiers had already stopped operations in Bulawayo, Midlands and Manicaland. The Expanded Support Programme initiative, which had operations in 23 areas in the country will wind up its operations, in December, while the Clinton Foundation will stop funding AIDS initiatives.

HIV and AIDS, one of the best funded sectors in Zimbabwe, has been a source of controversy for a long time. Activists have misgivings that the funds raised by taxing Zimbabwean workers are not used for the core business of buying drugs and carrying out preventive campaigns by the NAC, which administers the funds.

Last week the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Henry Madzorera, urged the NAC to be more transparent and to display its finances on its recently launched website – to quell speculation that the funds are abused.

Last year the NAC was shocked when the Global Fund, one of the top HIV/AIDS funders, rejected its project proposals for $170 million for HIV and $50 million for TB.

According to sources at the NAC, this was a prelude to the exodus of donors who are said to be unhappy with the administration of funding at the control hub.

According to the source, NAC has in its budget $23 million from the AIDS levy The pandemic in Zimbabwe, which was first reported in 1985, has killed hundreds of thousands and left an estimated one million orphans.

Although the country has witnessed a decline in the prevalence of the disease, sufferes say the money from donors is not permeating to them. They are made to pay in order to access the drugs. For example, at Chitungwiza Hospital, a patient going to the Opportunist Infections Unit is made to pay $10.

Partnership coordination is done through the Zimbabwe National Partnership Forum on HIV and AIDS. The National Partnership Forum is a multi-sectoral body that includes donors, youths organisations and faith-based organisations.

Efforts to get a comment from NAC chief executive Tapuwa Magure were fruitless.

Asked to comment, Madzorera said: “That is not the way of asking questions. You should send your questions to our office, phone the ministry and get our email from the secretary.”

Post published in: Health

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