The top three health threats facing the people of Zimbabwe are HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. These diseases have contributed significantly to the high number of maternal and childhood illness and deaths. Declining economic conditions have weakened a health system once known regionally for its well-educated and robust workforce. USAID, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC), supports national programs to reduce preventable deaths and lessen the disease burden, especially among women and children under five.
HIV and AIDS
USAID’s HIV prevention, care and treatment activities under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) have contributed to great successes achieved under the MOHCC’s national AIDS program. In 2016, PERPAR and USAID contributed over $160 million to activities that fight HIV and AIDS epidemic in the country. Zimbabwe’s HIV prevalence is currently 14%, compared to 26% percent in 1999. Furthermore, AIDs related deaths have fallen from 184,000 a decade earlier to 29,000 in 2015. And with the recently released Zimbabwe Population- Based HIV Impact Assessment preliminary results, there is evidence of a 67 percent reduction in new HIV infections since 2003. Although the number of AIDS-related deaths continues to decrease, Zimbabwe remains a high HIV burdened country.
Over the last three years, the U.S. Government, through PEPFAR, has invested over $100 million each year for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support activities in Zimbabwe. This investment has contributed to over 850,000 Zimbabweans being put on lifesaving antiretroviral medicines to date.
In 2016, the U.S. Government kicked off a $20 million DREAMS Initiative in six districts in Zimbabwe targeting adolescent girls and young women as part of PEPFAR’s goal to reduce new HIV infections by 40 percent among adolescent girls and young women by 2017.
Annually, the United States provides substantial HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support through PEPFAR to:
- Support prevention of mother-to-child transmission interventions, which require pregnant women who test positive for HIV to immediately initiate lifelong antiretroviral therapy, saving the lives of newborns.
- Support services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in 97 percent of all antenatal care sites in Zimbabwe.
- Provide voluntary medical male circumcision for approximately 111,000 men.
- Provide over 128,000 HIV positive people with life-saving antiretroviral therapy.
- Support HIV testing and counseling for over 630,000 people.
- Support community level interventions that care for orphans and vulnerable children infected or affected by HIV, improving the well-being of over 360,000 children.
Tuberculosis is the second leading cause of death in Zimbabwe and the number of drug-resistant cases is rising. About 70 percent of all tuberculosis (TB) patients are co-infected with HIV. USAID’s TB program provides assistance in Zimbabwe by supporting the country’s National TB program to increase the availability of TB services and strengthen TB case detection and management. The TB treatment success rate is steadily improving, from 77 percent in 2011 to 80 percent in 2015. USAID continues to support a TB specimen transport system in 42 districts. This system, serving over 900 of the 1,500 health facilities nationwide, has drastically reduced turn-around time and increased the number of specimens collected and tested.
Malaria is the third leading cause of death, with approximately half of Zimbabweans living in areas where malaria is common. Pregnant women and children under five years of age are among the most vulnerable. Since 2008, USAID has contributed approximately $90 million to prevent and treat malaria in Zimbabwe. In 2011, Zimbabwe became a President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) recipient country and USAID is working to prevent malaria transmission and improve treatment to reduce deaths due to malaria.
- Provides vital commodities such as mosquito nets, rapid diagnostic tests, and life-saving medications, while also supporting Zimbabwe’s National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) to strengthen the health system, conduct operational research, train health care workers, and provide social and behavior change communications support.
- Provides technical assistance to the NMCP to spray mosquitos in homes, in high burden areas with organophosphate insecticide to protect over 350,000 people from malaria each year.
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
USAID’s support in maternal, newborn and child health has increased the number of safe childbirths and improved maternal and child health services at 36 health facilities in Manicaland Province. USAID activities also strengthen family planning services, improving access to a wide range of family planning methods, including long-acting and permanent methods.
- Provides affordable family planning services to over 119,000 rural women, contributing to averting approximately 100,000 unintended pregnancies and more than 450 maternal deaths annually.
- Contributes to a reduction in the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in 36 health facilities in Manicaland province.
Health Supply Chain Management Services
To support quality service delivery and ensure an uninterrupted supply of lifesaving medicines nationwide, USAID works to improve the country’s medical supply chain management system. This support spans from forecasting future needs, procuring and distributing these essential medicines and supplies to data reporting and use.
Last updated: March 27, 2017