THE United States government, through its President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) says it will use at least US$150,000 to fight COVID-19 in Zimbabwe targeting people living with HIV.
The United States Embassy in Harare said this in a statement released Tuesday.
According to the press release, “the PEPFAR funding includes the purchase of soap, buckets, hand washing stations and hand sanitizer for supported facilities, the reproduction of COVID-19 communication materials to be shared at supported facilities and through faith and community networks around Zimbabwe and three PEPFAR clinical implementing partners; Organization for Public Health Interventions and Development (OPHID), Zimbabwe Association of Church-related Hospitals (ZACH), and International Training and Education Center for Health include (I-TECH) will carry out the activities.
“The United States is committed to continued care and treatment for People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in Zimbabwe. PLHIV who are not on treatment or virally suppressed may be at greater risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19.
“All PLHIV need to take precautions, including keeping at least three-months supply of ARVs in their homes, washing hands frequently, practicing social spacing and avoiding others who are sick.
“PEPFAR’s efforts supporting the response to the COVID-19 pandemic aim to ensure that PLHIV have the best possible outcomes within the context of over-stretched healthcare systems,” read part of the statement.
The US$150,000 fund is in addition to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s $470,000 contribution to the World Health Organization to support Zimbabwe’s fight against COVID-19, announced on March 27, 2020.
According to US, World Health Organisation (WHO) will help with life-saving activities such as preparing laboratories for large-scale testing for COVID-19, implementing a public-health emergency plan for points of entry, and activating case-finding and evidence-based surveillance for influenza-like illnesses.
Since 1980, the United States has provided over $1 billion in health assistance to strengthen health systems, so that Zimbabweans can live longer, healthier lives.