Donors hit by fatigue

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HARARE – Funding for home-based care (HBC) programmes has dwindled as the donor community shifts focus to treatment and management.

Veronica Ngwerume, Seke rural home-based care (SRHBC) director said support for the programme has gone down.

“It is very true that the situation has changed,” Ngwerume said.

“Many people living with HIV used to be bedridden when we started but now because of improved access to ART (anti-retroviral therapy), you cannot even tell whether one is living with HIV or not.”

Edriane Kwangwa, SRHBC palliative care nurse, said the organisation was currently working with 567 children in 21 wards from Seke, Makoni and Wedza.

Wilfred Dube, National Aids Council (Nac) provincial Aids coordinator for Mashonaland East, said several organisations were struggling, forcing them to shut down or remodel.

“HBC is no longer viable,” he said. “Partners have now suddenly not found value in putting their money when everyone on ART is now out and about working and fending for their families.”

Fact, Mashambanzou and Bulawayo are some of the HBC best practices that have been affected by donor fatigue.

He said decentralisation of ART provision was the major reason why HBC was being knocked out.

“What has been key in the process is the decentralisation of ART services where treatment has been cascaded down and patients are now being looked after at clinics.

“Even initiation used to be done by doctors only, now senior nurses are being trained to perform the same task,” he said, adding that advocacy and training programmes have also contributed to improving the health status of Zimbabwe’s population.

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