The United States, through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (or PEPFAR), is using at least USD$150,000 to boost Zimbabwe’s fight against COVID-19 prevention measures.
The program will be implemented through its three clinical partners, OPHID, I-TECH and ZACH.
“This PEPFAR funding includes the purchase of soap, buckets, hand washing stations and hand sanitizer for supported facilities, and the reproduction of COVID-19 communication materials to be shared at supported facilities and through faith and community networks around Zimbabwe,” the organisation said.
PLHIV who are not on treatment or virally suppressed may be at greater risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19.
According to PEPFAR, people living with HIV and Aids need to take precautions, including keeping at least three-months supply of ARVs in their homes, washing hands frequently, practicing social spacing and avoiding others who are sick.
PEPFAR’s efforts to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is aimed at ensuring that PLHIV have the best possible outcomes within the context of over-stretched healthcare systems.
These funds are in addition to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s $470,000 contribution to the World Health Organization to support Zimbabwe’s fight against COVID 19, announced on March 27, 2020.
Since 1980, the United States has provided over $1 billion in health assistance to strengthen health systems, so that Zimbabweans can live longer, healthier lives.