Govt pleads with US for cash

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MASVINGO – The Zimbabwean government has pleaded with the United States administration to increase funding for HIV programmes.

Robert Mudyiradima, Masvingo provincial medical director, begged US ambassador, Bruce Wharton, to increase the amount of funding they offer to the country to help the ailing health sector.

“We appreciate the assistance in terms of funding and sponsorship from the US government and I am pleading with the ambassador to continue to fund us in the health sector and various other programmes, as we fight to curb HIV/Aids,” he said at the Auxillia Chimusoro Awards funded by the US embassy.

“But Mr Ambassador I am appealing that you may do this with a special interest of Masvingo. Spare us some few thousand dollars in future and we will continue our fight with the disease.”

The medical director spent most of his presentation soliciting for funds from the US government.

The US envoy pledged to continue assisting the country.

Wharton  said his government  has a $2 billion budget for Zimbabwe and spent about $130 million in the fight against HIV/Aids.

“The US government is committed to assisting the Zimbabwean government in various sectors,” Wharton said.

“We spent $2bn in 2013 in various sectors but we have special funds for the fight against HIV/Aids.”

Wharton said his government will continue to work with the Health ministry and other government institutions to curb diseases in the country.

The ambassador was officiating at the presentation of the Auxillia Chimusoro Awards that are rewarded to individuals whose work is recognised in the fight against HIV/Aids.

This year the awards were scooped by four youths from different ART colleges who contributed in the fight through their pieces of ART work.

The award is funded by the US government in recognition  of the first Zimbabwean to go public about her HIV status in 1989, the late Auxillia Chimusoro.

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