HIV+ people petition Chimene over viral load tests

MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene yesterday refused to accept a petition from people living with HIV and Aids, who were demonstrating in Mutare for not being able to access routine viral load tests, among a host of other problems.

Source: HIV+ people petition Chimene over viral load tests – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 20, 2016


Almost 100 people demonstrated from Sakubva to the government complex.

A spokesperson for the demonstrators, Casper Pound, said they were told to return on Monday with their petition.
“People living with HIV are not able to access routine viral load tests and there is staff shortage at local clinics. We are calling on the government to unfreeze some posts and recruit more nurses,’’ he said.

“Mutare City Council has increased user fees from $2 to $9 and we are not happy with that. We wanted to hand over the petition to the minister, but her secretary told us that she was not around.”

Pound said maternity fees had been increased from $15 to $35, while ambulance fees were raised from $5 to $15.
Mutare mayor, Tatenda Nhamarare, said they had since slashed consultation fees at council clinics to improve the health service delivery.

“We have reduced the consultation fees from $9 to $5 and children aged five years and below do not pay anything,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Network for People Living with HIV and Aids (ZNNP+) executive director, Dagobert Mureriwa, said they had launched a mobile phone application to help improve adherance to ART medication.

“So one of the innovative applications we have developed is an application that we are going to be launching soon with the Health and Child Care ministry and the National Aids Council,” he said.

“It will be a buddy application that reminds someone of when they are supposed to take their anti-retroviral medication. It will also provide prompts on dates when check-ups are due among other health benefits, including also sending bulk messages on HIV-related alerts.

“Also considering that Zimbabwe is moving towards achieving the 2015 World Health Organisation guidelines, there are going to be some changes that require a lot of treatment literacy, so this application will be very vital in ensuring that all the health investments

that the government and other partners are undetaking will actually transform to broader health programmes for Zimbabweans.”