Home-based care reduces HIV prevalance rate: NAC

Victoria Muringayi



THE National Aids Council (NAC) has attributed the decline in the Aids prevalence rate to various projects such as the home-based care system which de

als with people living with the HIV/Aids virus.


NAC board chairman, Reverend Murombedzi Kuchera, said the awareness campaigns being carried out by various stakeholders nationwide were helping reduce the prevalence rate.


The prevalence rate for the HIV virus is now down at 18,1% from the previous 20,1%, while projections point to a reduction to a single digit rate by 2010,” he said.


“Home-based care is one of the very important strategies in national efforts to address challenges faced by Aids victims at home.”


Zimbabwe has over 300 000 people who require anti-retroviral drugs, but only 42 000 of them are receiving treatment. The remainder have to be catered for through home-based care initiatives.


The NAC said it was receiving US$250 000 for anti-retroviral drugs every month from the central bank to cater for those who cannot survive without the drugs.


“We have anti-retroviral drugs that can cater for 42 000 people who are on treatment and need the drugs constantly,” Kuchera said.


“We are currently mobilising our resources so that we can source funds for patients on anti-retrovirals so that everyone infected with the virus receives the drugs.”


Kuchera was speaking at a community home-based care certificate award ceremony held in Harare last Friday by a non-governmental organisation Jekesa Pfungwa/Vulingqondo.


Jekesa Pfungwa funnelled at least US$30 000 that it received from Irish Aid through Zimbabwe Aids Network to offer community home-based care to 20 monitors and 10 field officers throughout the country.


The money was used to buy bicycles, home-based care kits for the monitors and the field officers to improve efficiency in the programme.


Jekesa Pfungwa deputy director Mabel Moyo said the community home-based care course is the third that they have offered to the community and the 20 monitor’s role is to educate and give information to primary care givers, who are family members taking care for the terminally ill.


“The home-based care monitors and field officers have undergone a refresher training course which is a special programme, that was done according to the national standards as required by the Ministry of Health,” said Moyo.