Boston Globe Examines Challenges Facing Zimbabwean HIV Treatment Programs Operating With Little Funding
The Boston Globe on Tuesday examined the challenges facing HIV treatment programs in Zimbabwe, which have expanded despite little funding from international donors. Zimbabwe receives comparatively little foreign aid because donors are worried that the government of President Robert Mugabe might "either steal some of the AIDS money or divert it for political ends," the Globe reports. One program that provides the antiretroviral drug nevirapine to HIV-positive pregnant women to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission is operating in 800 of Zimbabwe's 1,183 hospitals and clinics, according to Agnes Mohamva, the initiative's government coordinator. "We decided to move with the capacity that we have. We've been working flat-out, and the expansion was so rapid, moving like a veld fire," Mohamva said, adding that 265 of the facilities in which the program operates offer full services, including rapid HIV tests. However, the gains that many programs have experienced are being threatened by the country's "ongoing" political and economic problems, which are causing many health care workers who are trained in HIV treatment and testing to leave the country and international groups and other governments to withhold funding for the country. As a result, supplies of antiretroviral drugs are unreliable, according to the Globe (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 5/3). The complete article is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.