Crisis disrupts nutrition of women with HIV

WOMEN living with HIV who are attending a Pan African Positive Women Coalition (PAPWC) consultative meeting in Kadoma have bemoaned the deteriorating economic situation, saying they were now failing to buy sufficient food in order to take their medication.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Event organiser, Tendai Westerhof, told delegates that the lack of food to support their nutrition affects their health as anti-retroviral treatment required healthy and sufficient food to be effective.

“Women living with the HIV are not spared the economic challenges we are facing. For ART to work they need healthy food which is now beyond the reach of everyone including people living with the disease,” Westerhof said.

“Prices of basic commodities have gone up [and] as a result, it compromises the whole situation.”

Dorothy Mudzamiri from Nyaminyami, Siakobvu told NewsDay that accessing food had become a major challenge for her.

“Food is now a big problem to us who took ARV treatment. Since we are not working we are now always clashing with Environment Management Authority (EMA) officers after cutting down trees to sell firewood because we need to survive. This disease needs healthy food,” Mudzamiri said.

Enita Kwaramba (31), who was born HIV positive, concurred that the economic situation has dampened their hope for long living.

“We are now stressed due to this economic situation. We used to survive on cooking relish for miners and other people but due to the cholera outbreak, we were forced to close our cooking business. We are now doing part time jobs, which is also hard to come by,” Kwaramba said. The meeting is meant to explore ways of ensuring systematic engagements with women living with HIV to develop a system of communication and feedback while monitoring the implementation of the current Global Fund grant.