News / Africa

Zimbabwe: Saving Children from HIV/AIDS

Joe DeCapua

A five-year, $45 million program has been launched to eliminate pediatric HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe.  Many pregnant women there do not have access to the latest drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the AIDS virus.

The U.S.-based Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation will lead the effort in Zimbabwe, thanks to a grant from the London-based Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

Philip O’Brian is the Glaser Foundations executive vice-president for communications, advocacy and development.

“Zimbabwe was picked for two reasons.  One, because over the last five or six years, we have seen significant progress in the parts of the country where we have been working.  But more importantly, the overall reason was that relatively few pregnant women in Zimbabwe have access to health services.  And that’s particularly true in rural areas,” he says.

Many in need of treatment

About 13 percent of the pregnant women in Zimbabwe are HIV positive

“What we want to be able to do is get the appropriate counseling and health care services to all of those women across all of the country.  And this grant will enable us to support that sort of service in Ministry of Health clinics throughout the whole country,” says O’Brien.

That 13 percent infection rate for pregnant women is among the highest in southern Africa.

“At the moment,” O’Brien says, “most of those women who do get treatment get the least effective form of treatment.  And therefore, there’s a very strong probability that their children will be born HIV positive.  And if those kids don’t get treatment over the course of the first year of their life, then 50 percent of them will be dead by the time they get to their second birthday.”

The least effective treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission is a single dose of the drug Navirapine given during pregnancy.  The most effective is a multi-dose, multi-drug treatment called ART, or Advanced Retroviral Therapy.

The Glaser Foundation official says, “We won’t be supplying the drugs.  They will come from the government’s own resources.  They will probably get money from the Global Fund (to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria), if not this year then in 2012, for that.  What we will do is provide training services, counseling services for women.  We will also do work on testing.”

The project also aims to help the 150,000 children under age 15 in Zimbabwe who are HIV positive.

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation now has more than 5,000 sites in 17 countries.  It says it has reached nearly 11 million women with services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid