Can This Nation End HIV in Children?
In the quest to end HIV among children by 2030, the southern African nation of Zimbabwe is making major progress.
Tendayi Westerhof, the National Director of Pan African Positive Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, told The Herald her nation is leading the African continent in preventing HIV transmission among children. More than 1,600 health facilities in the nation are equipped with prenatal care, Westerhof said, and offer prevention of mother to child transmission.
The 1,643 facilities offer HIV management services like dispensing medicine and treatment, which has resulted in 94 percent of HIV-positive Zimbabwean adults being on treatment.
While only 73 percent of children are on treatment, Westerhof says she thinks Zimbabwe, as a whole, is on the right track.
“The global process to end AIDS in children is complementing the work that Zimbabwe is already doing at country level,” she said. “That is the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV through the country’s validation process.”
With an optimistic attitude, she said, “It is possible for us to end AIDS in children by 2030. We are almost there. We are doing well as a country and our ministry of health is doing well in the elimination of mother to child transmission.”
Although women and children are seeing a rise in treatment, Westerhof also noted that there’s a gap that needs “extra awareness” in regard to male involvement, saying reaching out to men in their social spaces will help to adequately close the gap.