Switzerland has pledged to continue supporting development in Zimbabwe, particularly the health sector, which has witnessed a decline over the years and is currently grappling with a strike by junior doctors.
BY VANESSA GONYE/ RUTENDO MATANHIKE
Speaking during a tour of the Newlands Clinic in Harare, which is funded by the Swiss government, Swiss Federal Councillor and head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Ignazio Cassis, said his government was currently providing an average of $4,6 million annually to cover HIV and Aids-related issues.
“We will support the efforts of the new government as well as the Health ministry, and this Newlands project is one of our priorities as it cares for HIV and Aids patients. It is a comprehensive approach for dealing with people who are suffering,” he said.
Cassis paid tribute to Ruedi Luthy for coming up with the Newlands project as well as the training of close to 3 000 personnel to work in the area of HIV and Aids, as well as the efforts being made at the clinic to combat the effects of the pandemic.
“More than 10 000 people have sought services from this establishment and I would like to thank Professor Luthy for spearheading this project, which is privately funded, and for training staff on the new models of combating the deadly disease, not only at this clinic, but in several others where our support is offered,” Cassis said.
Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo commended the Swiss government for bringing in innovation to the health sector while at the same time funding efforts to fight the effects of HIV and Aids.
“We want to see more foreign investors here in Zimbabwe. We are very happy that you have health as a priority. In future, there shall be more Swiss facilities in Zimbabwe,” he said.
The Newlands Clinic has been a centre of excellence in relation to HIV and Aids treatment, counselling, research, training of doctors and nurses and care and support of underprivileged adults and children in Zimbabwe.
The clinic competes with those in Europe and its objective is to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV and Aids and reduce HIV morbidity, mortality and transmission in Zimbabwe.