Zimbabwean capacity for HIV/AIDS research: current situation and new demands

  • S.n Chandiwana Blair Research Institute, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, P O Box CY 573, Causeway, Harare
  • S. Gregson Biomedical Research and Training Institute, P.O. Box CY1753, Causeway, Harare and Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, St. Mary’s Campus, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG.
  • E. Gomo Blair Research Institute, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, P O Box CY 573, Causeway, Harare
  • E.W. Marowa National AIDS Council, P O Box MP 1311, Mt Pleasant, Harare
  • D. Matanhire National AIDS Council, P O Box MP 1311, Mt Pleasant, Harare

Abstract



It is now almost 20 years since the AIDS virus was first identified and considerable energy and resources have been invested in attempts to control the HIV epidemic. However, the epidemic has continued unabated and many people in Zimbabwe and other sub-Saharan African countries continue to succumb to the disease. This paper describes the establishment and function of the National AIDS Council (NAC) of Zimbabwe. The NAC mobilises national funds through an AIDS levy to support local HIV/AIDS activities. The NAC would like to ensure that the HIV/AIDS activities it supports are based on scientific evidence. The aim is to enhance effectiveness of funds from the NAC, through properly targeted evidence-based socio-behavioural interventions to prevent further spread of the virus particularly among young people. The NAC therefore funds projects by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public sector and private organisations through a district based approach. Local researchers could play an important role in monitoring and evaluating these projects to ensure effectiveness and value for money and to make certain that maximum resources reach the intended beneficiaries. The paper also describes the ZIMAIDS Information Portal initiative. This portal will provide information on HIV/AIDS for the utilisation of different stakeholders, people living with HIV, policy makers, health care givers, research workers and the public. The purpose is to deliver a comprehensive and heterogeneous collection of information sources through a secure access layer. The information system will be available in many versions— online, offline version, voice and print. To close the digital gap between urban and rural areas in Zimbabwe, this initiative will establish at district and eventually at village level, information way stations, which are equipped to access health information electronically.

The Zimbabwe Science News Volume 35 (1+ 2) 2001, pp. 43-50
Published
2004-06-15
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 1016-1503