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Zimbabwe

Once the breadbasket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe is now a nation with an economy in deep crisis.

Poverty and unemployment are endemic and political strife and repression are commonplace in Zimbabwe.

Map of MSF's activities in Zimbabwe, 2015The landlocked country of 14.2 million people has for the past 35 years been led by President Robert Mugabe, the pro-independence campaigner who wrested control from a small white community and became the country's first black leader.

Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. However, access to treatment has improved in recent years.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has worked in the country since 2000, providing wide-ranging HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) care.

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MSF’s work in Zimbabwe: 2016

While HIV prevalence has decreased from 30 percent in the early 2000s to 15 percent today, there are still major gaps in services, such as the availability of routine viral load monitoring and second line antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

Cervical cancer is an emerging health problem, with women living with HIV five times more likely to contract it than those who are not.





© Brendan Bannon

 

Sexual violence

We provided treatment and psychosocial support to victims of sexual violence at the Mbare and Epworth clinics.

Teams also conducted health promotion activities to raise awareness of the importance of seeking medical care within 72 hours of abuse to prevent unwanted pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

A total of 2,325 consultations were carried in 2015 at the Mbare clinic alone and of these, 1,361 were new patients.

Psychiatric care

We continue to provide diagnosis, treatment and care to around 330 inmates with mental illness at Chikurubi maximum security prison and Chikurubi female prison in Harare.

A total of 1,615 mental health consultations were carried out this year.

In collaboration with the MoHCC, MSF started a new mental health project in Harare central hospital, offering treatment and support to patients in the psychiatric unit.

Water and sanitation

In 2015, more than 30,000 people benefited from our projects providing clean water and better sanitation in suburbs of Harare prone to outbreaks of disease such as typhoid which is caused by poor water supply and hygiene conditions.

Through our programmes we rehabilitated 20 boreholes, and collaborated with other partner organisations like Africa AHEAD to ensure that the communities knew how to protect water to avoid contamination both at the source and at home.

Harare

We offer comprehensive support to victims of sexual violence in Zimbabwe’s capital, and  developing comprehensive services for adolescent care in the urban district of Mbare.

In Epworth polyclinic, a comprehensive package of HIV, TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) care is adapted for all ages. Cervical cancer screenings and early treatment strategies are provided for all HIV-positive women.

We are continuing to reconstruct and repair boreholes in the city’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods, providing access to clean water as a strategy to prevent outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as typhoid and cholera.

We support the diagnosis and treatment of HIV, TB and mental health in Chikurubi maximum security prison and offer psychiatric treatment, care and support to patients in Harare central hospital’s psychiatric unit.

We also provide decentralised psychiatric care and community follow-up after discharge to prevent relapse and re-admission to the hospital.

Gutu

In Gutu, where we have taken a community-based approach to managing large cohorts of stable HIV patients since 2011, the initial findings of a large population-based survey by MSF Epicentre in June 2016 indicate that the district reached 86-94-86 and are on track to reach the 90-90-90 goals.

(By 2020, 90 percent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection are on sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy have viral suppression.)

In Mwenezi, we are working with the MoHCC to fully implement ‘test and start’– beginning antiretroviral treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis – for approximately 18,000 people living with HIV.

In Gutu, where MSF has taken a communitybased approach to managing large cohorts of stable HIV patients since 2011, the initial findings of a large population-based survey by MSF and Epicentre in June 2016 indicate that the district reached 86-94-86 and is on track to reach the 90-90-901 goals. In Mwenezi, MSF is working with the MoHCC to fully implement ‘test and start’2 for approximately 18,000 people living with HIV.

We continued to support the MoHCC to implement new models of care and CAGs – community groups in which people take turns picking up ARV drug refills – as well as providing preventive screenings and early treatment strategies for cervical cancer in six district health centres.

In Manicaland, MSF supports the roll out of CAGs throughout the province and routine viral load monitoring of patients taking ARVs in five districts. In Chipinge district and Mutare Provincial Hospital, MSF supports the MoHCC in treating non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

We also provided treatment to a total of 26 MDR-TB patients in Epworth, Gutu and Mwenezi.

In Beitbridge, teams provided mental health support and medical care, including HIV and TB testing and refills to Zimbabweans who had been deported from South Africa.

 

find out more in our international activity report

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