Medical research necessary for elimination of HIV/AIDS

Day in labour.

Zimbabwe on Monday convened a workshop aimed at availing knowledge on the country’s medical research as a footstool for policy and non state actors’ efforts in the fight against HIV and Aids.

The workshop which adopted Zimbabwe to the Africa free New HIV Infections, AfNHi network was hosted by the Community Working Group on Health in partnership with Africa Free of New HIV Infections, AfNHi is a pre ICASA platform being held in three countries,

The workshop availed knowledge on the need for Africa to move away from the dependency tendency in funding it’s national programs tackling health.

“There is need for us as a country to understand that if we continually depend on external financing we are at security risk. By depending on drug imports which are at 93% we are at a great security risk which we should address.” ICASA board member, Senator Dr Samuel Parienyatwa said.

The meeting called for a collaborated approach in dealing with the impact of HIV and AIDS and more specifically medical research.

“Government, local authorities, universities, CSO’s are a key player in implementation of research. There is need to utilise the Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe if we are to succeed in the intention. There is need for a collaborative approach from all key stakeholders.” Mr Daniel Molekele Parliamentary committee on health committee member said.

The meeting commended government efforts in the facilitation of eradication of HIV and AIDS while calling for more collaborations.

“We are on course to achieve our 90/90/90 target’s and the broad Aids free generation by 2030, 0 stigma, 0 new rates among other government and non state actor commitments. As much as we are on track there is need for more collaborative effort.” National Aids Council CEO, Mr Bernard Madzima.

The meeting which saw Zimbabwe joining the AfNHI emphasised the importance of joining the network in availing avenues for the institutionalisation of research as a means to improve knowledge on HIV and AIDS.

“We launched the AfNHi biomedical research platform in 2012 with the aim of fast tracking HIV prevention research and we are happy to have Zimbabwe coming up on board. We hope that by coming onboard Zimbabwe will realise accelerated clinical trials conducted in conformation to global standards.” Joyce Nganga AfNHi Representative from Kenya said via zoom.

The preliminary research on the state of affairs in biomedical research in Zimbabwe showed mixed experiences with calls for community involvement in all research efforts.

“Biomedical HIV prevention research in Zimbabwe is arguably justified by a 2% budgetary guarantee in the 2021 budget, policy, legislation and institutions that seek to capacitate biomedical research. However, existence of challenges cannot be underestimated, and the need for community based research strategies is important if the research is to present existent facts.” Maria Chiwera the Executive Committee Chairperson of the Community Working Group on Health said.

Health remains a key sustainable development goal in the fight to be inclusive and leave no one behind as well as the sustainable call to avail health service for all.—GemNation

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