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Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's economy has been in decline since the 1990s, with very few funds available for any public expenditure and social services. Poverty and unemployment are endemic and political strife is commonplace.  

The country’s health sector faces numerous challenges, including shortages of medical commodities and essential medicines. Médecins Sans Frontières has worked in Zimbabwe since 2000.   

 

HIV care in Zimbabwe 

Although the HIV prevalence rate has decreased by almost half, there are still major gaps in vital treatments and services available to patients, such as the availability of routine viral load monitoring and second-line antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

MSF Training of the peer-to-peer counselling strategy for patients in prison for HIV/AIDS care. © Ikram N'gadi / MSF

MSF currently runs projects in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to provide wide-ranging care for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and mental health issues, as well as for non-communicable diseases. 

MSF has supported the scale-up of viral load testing in 40 health facilities and the management of patients whose antiretroviral therapy had failed. Staff also assisted with the treatment of non-communicable diseases such as asthma, hypertension and diabetes, and piloted the integration of treatment for HIV-positive patients living with NCDs. After 11 years of offering treatment in Epworth, MSF handed the project over to the health ministry in 2017.  

One of our patients takes the oral cholera vaccine during the mass vaccination campaign that took place in Glenview, Harare. © Marion Mossing / MSF

MSF continues to run HIV outreach programs using patient-friendly, empowering models of care for hard-to-reach communities whose nearest health facilities can be up to 180 kilometres away. 

MSF teams run water, sanitation and hygiene projects, improving the provision of clean water to vulnerable communities in Harare by rehabilitating and upgrading boreholes and drilling new ones. 

We offer comprehensive support to victims of sexual violence, as well as comprehensive services for adolescents in urban districts. 

A nurse gives instruction on how to take contraceptive pills. © Charmaine Chitate / MSF

In collaboration with the health ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO), MSF offered Mental Health Gap Action Program training to nurses from various health institutions. MSF also provided coaching and mentoring services to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, and City of Harare health staff in preparation for the handover of MSF's mental health projects at Chikurubi maximum security prison and Harare central hospital. 

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04 Feb 2016