Zim works on HIV Sustainability Index Dashboard

By Kuda Pembere

ZIMBABWE is working on establishing a Sustainability Index Dashboard which will assist in pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses in the nation’s HIV response.
This was said by Dr Martin Odiit who was speaking on behalf of Ms Sophia Mukasa Monico last week in Harare.
These remarks come on the backdrop of a UNAIDS report which lauded Zimbabwe’s HIV response. Despite making praiseworthy progress in the National HIV response, women remain at high risk of getting new infections.
“Welcome to important meetings over the next three days during which we shall contribute to the Sustainability Index Dashboard. UNAIDS and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) wish to thank the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the National AIDS Council delegation for your participation in the Responsibility Matrix meeting held on 09th September 2021. Participants at the meeting offered invaluable insight into the task of assessing contributions to the HIV/AIDS response.
“The next step to better understand the sustainability landscape in Zimbabwe is to complete the Sustainability Index and Dashboard (SID) tool to help us pinpoint sustainability strengths and vulnerabilities in Zimbabwe. The SID will help build a mutual understanding the sustainability landscape and inform priority areas for further investment. Today, we begin with an introduction to the Sustainability Index Dashboard,” she said.
Organisations such as PEPFAR and Global Fund alongside others continue to invest in Zimbabwe’s HIV response. She said the investments towards the HIV fight have improved productivity.
“As you are all aware, the AIDS response is a long-term investment – millions of people continue to need access to prevention programmes and HIV treatment for their entire lives. It is an investment that delivers returns through increased productivity, lower health and orphan care costs, dignity and hope. In this context, the overreliance of the AIDS response on foreign investments is not sustainable,” she said.
Ms Monico also mentioned that the Global AIDS Strategy 2021 to 2026 prioritises the development and implementation of context-specific sustainability financing strategies that ensure universal access and improved health outcomes.
“This will be done through the following actions:

Implementing country-tailored financing frameworks that raise domestic revenues for the HIV response and social spending, increase the quality and coverage of HIV and health services, and improve resilience and sustainability of financing;
Ensuring that financing, governance and social financing frameworks for Universal Health Coverage drive progress towards HIV targets, removing structural barriers and reducing inequalities; progress should be measured by the integration of the full range of HIV prevention, treatment and care services, reaching all populations with stigma free services, and public financing of community-led responses;
Abolishing of user fees for HIV-related and other health-care services, starting with the most marginalized populations, women, girls, people living with HIV, key populations and other priority populations;
Building on the platforms and structures of the HIV response to promote Universal Health Coverage that includes gender and other equity considerations beyond socioeconomic status and income towards realization of people’s right to health;
Shifting towards progressive health financing that provides Universal Health Coverage for the full range of HIV services, inclusion in national schemes and general tax contributions for resource pooling, and shifts away from voluntary or contributory schemes that are linked to benefit entitlements; and
Implementing transition strategies and plans that ensure sustainable financing, engage with communities, donors and partners to identify country-tailored solutions, and secure sustainable funding for programmes for key populations and community-led programmes.

In conclusion, going forward, it is important to:
Develop and implement strategic plans that aim at financial sustainability and target reaching and maintaining HIV epidemic control such as the Zimbabwe National AIDS Strategic Plan IV (ZNASP IV).
Ensure national and development partners meet commitments and align with National priorities
Ensure investments contribute to health system strengthening
Maximise opportunities to diversify funding sources and increase domestic resource allocation
Mobilise leadership at all levels to implement the sustainability agenda

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