Zimbabwe spends $7m on condoms annually

via Zim spends $7m on condoms annually – DailyNews Live by Wendy Muperi  28 MAY 2014

Zimbabwe uses at least $7 million on condoms annually, latest statistics in the National Spending Assessment (Nasa) validation report show.

The National Aids Council (Nac) believes prevention activities, including condom distribution, should be scaled-up to avert retrogression in the battle against the epidemic.

Teresa Guthrie, executive director of the Centre for Economic Governance and Aids in Africa (CEGAA), said the country’s spending on condoms was quite significant.

“Agents spent about $8 million in 2011 and $6 million in 2012 on the provision and social marketing of condoms. We have quite an exciting consumption here,” said South Africa-based Guthrie while presenting the report last Friday.

About 1,2 million adults and children are estimated to be living with HIV in Zimbabwe. At least 660 000 are on anti-retroviral therapy (ART).

The country has witnessed a decline in HIV prevalence is 15 percent.

However, officials report a fluctuating trend since 2010, with new infections remaining high at approximately 58 000 annually as of December 2012.

Nac operations director Raymond Yekeye said the funding decline points to donor fatigue.

“The majority of condoms are funded by partners. It appears there is little investment going to HIV prevention in general. Obviously, expenditure on condoms has also suffered in all this,” said Yekeye.

“The country should look at doubling its efforts in HIV prevention as we are likely to lose the gains achieved over the years”.

The country recorded 45 621 HIV-related deaths in 2012.
Nac finance director Albert Manenji said the face of the epidemic has since changed and stakeholders need a paradigm shift in HIV mitigation.

“We now need to invest more into prevention as it is less costly than treatment. There is need for you as an organisation in the prevention sector to provide compelling evidence on the importance of investing in prevention. That is lacking,” said Manenji.

At least 55 percent of Aids levy goes into treatment, 11 percent to prevention, four percent to creating an enabling environment, monitoring and evaluation, taxes five percent and 25 percent is spent on salaries.

In recent years, Nac has been collecting around $33 million.

Recently, Nac released overwhelming statistics on condom distribution in 2013 with 100 million and 5, 2 million condoms used by men and women respectively.

“Zimbabwe has remained an intentionally-acclaimed best practice in condom distribution. Gaps in consistent condom use persist,” said the Nac 2014 progress report.

Other prevention activities include elimination of mother to child transmissions, education on abstinence and safe sex.