HARARE – Cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs) have declined in Mashonaland East, a National Aids Council (Nac) official has said.
Wilfred Dube, Nac provincial Aids coordinator, said the province has made remarkable strides in reducing opportunistic infections.
“I can tell you that we seem to have less STI cases presenting at clinics in the province compared to the recent past,” Dube said in an address to the media during an on-going tour of the province.
“We feel it could be because of the programmes that we have been running that are now bearing fruits.”
According to official statistics for the last two quarters, of the nine districts, Chikomba has the most significant drop, having reduced the figures by 324 from 682 in the second quarter to 358 in the third quarter.
Wedza came second, recording 409 cases from 610 while Goromonzi recorded 930 cases from 1 129.
Marondera has 848 cases down from 961, Murehwa slashed figures to 1 052 from 1 115 while Mudzi recorded 642 cases from 692.
However, three districts recorded a negative trend, namely Mutoko, Seke and Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP). Mutoko logged the highest increase in opportunistic infections. It recorded 130 new cases.
In the second quarter it stood at 492 and is now at 622 while Seke moved from 475 to 541 and UMP now stands at 347 from 316.
Simukai Zizhou, the provincial medical director, said though the province has been contributing honourably towards a reduced prevalence rate in HIV, government and partners should carry on assisting.
“Yes if you look at the trends declining, you can attribute them to behaviour change programmes but there is always a danger to be caught napping,” Zizhou said.
“We have spots were figures are actually increasing because of activities happening in these areas like farming or mining. Sometimes they increase just because of the festive season”.
Masvingo is one of Zimbabwe’s provinces that has recorded dismal progress in fighting opportunistic infections, with an increase of about 1 000 cases from 10 000.
The developments come as Zimbabwe gears for World Aids Day (Wad) commemorations to be held in Chivhu on December 1 under the theme “Getting to zero by 2015”, a theme which speaks to elimination of new infections, discrimination and deaths.