THE United States Agency for International Development (Usaid) yesterday unveiled a $20 million grant towards HIV treatment, care, and support services for adolescents.
BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA
The grant was channelled to AfricAid, a local non-profit marking organisation spearheading the Zvandiri model targeting HIV-positive youths.
Speaking at the grant signing ceremony, Usaid Zimbabwe mission director, Stephanie Funk pledged to continue working with AfricAid in improving lives of adolescents.
“Usaid is proud to partner with AfricAid to help Zimbabwean children and adolescents live longer, healthier lives. The United States stands with the people of Zimbabwe in an effort to end the HIV epidemic,” she said.
The grant will run for five years until 2022.
AfricAid executive director, Nicola Willis said the grant would help them scale up the Zvandiri model.
Health minister David Parirenyatwa said the grant would go a long way in helping 80% of children and adolescents on anti-retroviral therapy.
“Eighty percent of children and adolescents with HIV are now on anti-retroviral therapy. Recent work by Zvandiri points out that disability was an increasing concern in children and adolescents with HIV,” he said.
“Other work has found that young mothers with HIV face significant challenges, threatening the success of PMTCT [prevention of mother-to-child transmission] and clinical and psychological outcomes in their children.”
The US President Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar), through Usaid and the Centres for Dieses Control and Prevention, has provided nearly $1 billion to Zimbabwe over the last decade for HIV prevention, care and treatment services.