Shot in the arm for Mashambanzou

HARARE - Swedish government has entered a $860 000 funding agreement with Mashambanzou Care Trust.

The three-year grant will support Mashambanzou’s care unit in Waterfalls and the Nenyere day care centre in Mbare.

Swedish ambassador Lars Ronnas said, “For the past 13 years, Sweden has provided $1,5 million to Mashambanzou in support of people living with HIV and orphans and vulnerable children. Highlights of this new support include the drilling of boreholes for the care unit and the day care centre which have not been spared of inconsistent water supplies.”

Ronnas said efforts were being made to fight HIV and Aids.

“We are here to renew our support to Mashambanzou in the fight against HIV and Aids, a fight which, I must say, has not been in vain,” Ronnas said. “Looking back to 1997, the HIV prevalence rate was at 27 percent but it now stands at 15 percent. Thanks to all our efforts.”

However, Ronnas said he is concerned that people are still losing lives to HIV and Aids.

“National estimates reveal that annual HIV deaths stand at 45 621 with an estimated 941 024 orphans to Aids. It is therefore, the global aim to get to zero Aids-related deaths.”

Benedict Chikwanha, board chairperson of Mashambadzou Care Trust, welcomed the grant.

“The care unit which is situated in Waterfalls provides care and support to poor, vulnerable and critically ill people living with HIV and Aids. The care unit has 28 beds with 250 to 300 patients being treated at the centre every year.”

Chikwanha said the day care centre offers early childhood development for 60 children per year, nutrition for the children, treatment and care as well as counselling. Last year 10 children were receiving anti-retroviral tablets at the centre.

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