Manicaland’s HIV prevalence rate at 11%, is the lowest in the country, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Honorable Deputy Aldrin Musiiwa has said.
Hon Musiiwa revealed this at the Family Aids Care Trust 30th anniversary commemoration in Mutare, last week on Thursday.
Hon Dr. Aldrin Musiiwa delivering his speech
“We are also celebrating the decline of HIV prevalence to 11% in Manicaland and thisis the lowest in the country. This could not have happened without FACT,” he said.
According to the latest statistics from Zimbabwe Population Based HIV Impact assessment (ZIMPHIA 2015-2016), the two Matabeleland provinces recorded the highest HIV prevalence rates in the country.
Matabeleland South remains the hotspot for HIV and Aids after recording the highest HIV prevalence rate for 2016 at 21%.
The country’s average HIV prevalence stands at 14,6%, having declined from a peak of 28% in 1997 according to ZIMPHIA.
HIV prevalence rates in order:
1.Matabeleland South 21%
2.Matabeleland North 17,6 %
6.Mashonaland East 15,2%
8.Mashonaland Central 11,9%
9.Mashonaland West 13,2%
10.Manicaland has the 10,5%
Hon Musiiwa appreciated the role played by FACT in the fight against HIV and AIDS since 1987 when it was established.
“Over the past years FACT has emerged as a responsive, sensitive and agile organisation that systematically tackled the problem of HIV with love
“Fact managed to turn the tide, making HIV and AIDS to be associated with love, compassion and caring,” said Hon Musiiwa.
According to Dr Geoff foster the founder, FACTN is a Christian organisation.
“FACT is a Christian based AIDS service and development organisation which deals with fighting HIV and AIDS epidemic and also transforming lives of our vulnerable communities. It works hand in glove with the Ministry of Health and Child Care”, said Dr Foster in his address.
The theme, for the celebrations was“Envisioning Healthy Communities Free From Poverty”.
SPEECH BY HON. DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE ALDRIN MUSIIWA AT THE FACT @30 CELEBRATIONS
The Journey of 30 years
I feel very humbled to be standing before you on this special day of FACT’s 30 years of fighting the HIV and AIDS epidemic and also transforming the lives of our vulnerable communities in a more sustainable way. The celebrations shall be guided by the theme,” Envisioning Healthy Communities free from poverty” Ladies and gentlemen, we are here to celebrate 30 years not just of existence, but of serving as one of the first AIDS service organisations in Zimbabwe. Its humble beginnings as a volunteer organisation in 1987 makes it worth the celebration. Over these 30 years, FACT has grown to be a well-recognised health and social services brand maturing to be become a professional organisation with a full time staff compliment of 203. A vibrant and visionary board, coupled with committed management, staff and volunteer community have differently worked to elevate and sustain FACT through this arduous but glorious process and outcome. .
Over the past 30 years , FACT has emerged as a responsive , sensitive and agile organisation that systematically tackled the problem of HIV with love. It has stood the test of time dealing with stigma and discrimination that characterised the early days of HIV and AIDS with success. Today we can freely, talk, mingle, associate and share space and services with both the affected and the infected because of the wonderful but challenging work pioneered by FACT. We are also celebrating the decline of HIV prevalence to 11% in Manicaland and this is the lowest in the country. This could not have happened without FACT in Manicaland.
We can look back at the early days of FACT’s response when globally, communities were still confused and sceptical about what had threatened humanity. These were the early days of unexplained death , sickness and losses. Denial and stigma were highest. Neglect was common and so was institutionalised exclusion.
From the days when HIV was associated with AIDS and sure death, FACT managed to turn the tide , making HIV and AIDS to be associated with love, compassion and caring. With victory inscribed on our faces, We can chronicle the days of Home based Care ( HBC), The emergency of orphan hood phenomenon , the numerous death that FACT volunteers and staff came to face head on and with success , thus turning a desperate situation into a manageable one, from death , to home based care ( HBC), to care and support , to testing and treatment and as of today to leading hopeful lives. .
Regionally, FACT’s response to HIV since its inception in 1987 did indeed attract the attention of the Southern and Central Africa nations .FACT model ( Community Care ) was envied, and subsequently replicated and taken across Eastern and Southern Africa ( Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania , Zambia , Namibia ) just to mention a few. Invitations came from several regional organisations for FACT to support and capacitate such organisations as Sotomez, ADPP, Kubatana, Kubatsirana, and many others in Mozambique, WOFAD , VSO, and many others in Malawi and Zambia and as far as India, Nigeria , Ghana and Senegal just to mention a few.
Thanking people behind the scenes – Volunteers
FACT remains grateful and thankful to the courage, resilience, love, compassion and selflessness of their community volunteers where it has engaged over 2 500.Without them we could not have gone this far. We call upon the mighty lord to continue blessing them. As FACT celebrates its 30 years of existence, this shall be an opportunity to show our gratitude by giving them awards. This dream has been realised because of the generous support from FACT partners and the business community of Mutare. For this occasion to be a success everything was donated. Donations ranged from cash, food stuffs and or in kind.
Through various funding & cooperating partners such as USAID, CDC,UNFPA, Tear Fund UK, Tearfund Netherlands ,UNDP, UK AID and many others partners FACT has managed to reach out to over 250 000 Orphans and Vulnerable Children. Some beneficiaries are now medical doctors, nurses, accountants and Social Workers just but to mention a few trades.
Financial Stability& Sustenance
From a zero budget in 1987,FACT has managed to hold more than $10million dollars from a single funder and has attracted over 15 funding partners in a single year. Some funding partners have been with FACT for over 20 years, a clear evidence of good working relations. With more than 30 cycles of UNQUALIFIED audits, FACT remains a destination of choice for most funding partners for its systems and management approaches guarantee not only high level security for partner funds but equally unmatched reach to intended beneficiaries.
FACT has transformed from a granted organisation to a granting entity. It is now a Prime recipient of USAID, CDC, and UKAID, funding. For many local and national organisations, this remains a pipe dream.
However, as much as FACT may sound very rich, their challenge is that most funds are restricted funds. Developing countries have always relied on external fund and nothing has come from us. It is high time we try to support our own orphans the disabled, the sick and other livelihood interventions as a sustainability plan as we transform their lives.
Looking Forward With an Open Heart & Mind
(Their growth path /trajectory)
Regardless of 30 years of existence and their sprawling national coverage, FACT continues to look forward to growth and sustainability . The organisation will thus continue to extend and cement partnerships and collaborations with like-minded organisations and institutions such as universities to produce evidence driven programming. Currently , they are working in collaboration with the UZ ZAPP, Africa University, Eduardo Modhlane University in Mozambique and UKZN’s HEARD in South Africa to produce evidence based future interventions focusing on OVC, Key populations as we strive to attain the 90 90 90 UNAIDS targets.
FACT looks forward to curving deeper into NCDs ( the cancers, hype tension, obesity, mental health) as part of FACT holistic approach to health and wellbeing. Livelihoods are another key growth trajectory as these blend well with health wellbeing of the community .
With these words l thank you ladies and gentlemen.