Country: ZIMBABWE Programme update  


The overall strategy of ZRCS in combating the HIV and AIDS pandemic is through the community based approach. This is hinged on social and psycho-social support to people living with HIV & AIDS and OVC and prevention. Subsequently, the National Society has adopted the following five key strategic initiatives:

? Strengthening the capacity of families to care for the family members living with HIV and AIDS and to protect and care for their OVC

? Mobilize and strengthen social support systems and community based responses for HIV and AIDS).


? Strengthen the capacity of children and young people to meet their own needs

? Raise awareness within communities to create an environment that enables support for children and adults affected by HIV and AIDS).

By 2009 at the peak of our HIV and AIDS programme implementation, the National Society has reached a cumulative figure of 19 091 home based care clients and 54 818 orphans and vulnerable children.

The situation

Zimbabwe is among the countries most affected by HIV and AIDS. However, there has been a marked reduction in the HIV prevalence rate thanks to governement policies in the fight against AIDS coupled with the effort of other players combating the scourge. The ZDHS results also show that HIV prevalence is higher among women than men in both urban and rural populations.

  • Estimated number of PLHIV in need of ART = 500 000 including children.
  • PLHIV on ART = 152 474
  • Children on ART = 14 526
  • Note: The above given numbers are those people on the public (Government) register, excluding clients under private practitioners.
  • The Min. of Health and Child Welfare is currently scaling up prevention of further transmission of HIV and impact mitigation of HIV & AIDS to those infected and affected.[Source: MOHCW]

Progress towards objectives


General analysis of Progress and Challenges:

  • The HIV and AIDS Programme is one of ZRCS major programme whose main objective is to improve the lives of the chronically and terminally ill patients particularly PLHIV. This programme has been doing well in the past to such an extent that it has been regarded as one of the Best Practices for the NS. However, because of the funding challenges the programme has now been redirected to focus more on Anti-Retroviral Therapy and Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) support
  • Under the Prevention component a strategy was developed and launched in a bid to create an environment for fundraising for the component. The component reached 21% of its 5 year target and this comes up as a result of funding gap.


Prevention of further HIV infection

  • A total of 333 951 beneficiaries with 163 920 males and 170 031 females against targeted 326 687 were reached through information, education and communication (IEC) materials distributed during sensitization, coordination and stakeholders meetings, sporting activities, Youth Friendly Centres and Social Clubs.


  • Peer Educators, Care facilitators and other ZRCS volunteers distributed IEC materials during their day to day work and other health related campaigns such as cholera awareness campaigns.
  • Basing on historical programme data, a total of 7759 people were referred for VCT and PMTCT during the period under review compared to 642 in December 2008.
  • 8094 PLHIV were supported on positive prevention.
  • Two peer education T.O.T trainings were conducted at Westwood training Centre. The trainings were conducted in two groups. The Zonal Prevention Officer also attended this training.
  • Peer education training in Sexual and Reproductive Health and life skills for youth peer educators was conducted in 8 provinces and a total of 291 peer educators were trained. The Prevention officer technically supported provincial follow up trainings.
  • The NS developed an HIV prevention strategy which was successfully launched on the 7th of May 2009 at the Red Cross HQ offices.
  • The National Society received 25 copies of Minimum Standards for HIV Peer Education Programmes from IFRC Zonal Office.

Constraints or challenges:

  • There is an increased demand for IEC materials. The NS has resorted to other approaches of disseminating information through edutainment. These efforts are marred by Shortage of sporting equipment, drama equipment, transport problems, penile models, female dooms and a variety of video tapes.




  • Funding for this programme continues to dwindle hence quality of care and support for clients is compromised

2.3 ART


  • The ART outreach programme continues in the two pilot project areas Chivi and Mt Darwin districts.
  • The client treatment initiation started in November 2008.
  • A total of 890 clients are on the waiting list and are eligible for antiretroviral therapy.
  • A total of 516 clients have been started on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the two districts.
  • The people are coming in large numbers for voluntary counseling and testing

Reducing Stigma and Discrimination


  • The NS through the HIV & AIDS prevention programme spearheaded the training and support of 102 ambassadors of hope. Gender based violence, stigma and discrimination topics are included in SRH peer education training manual hence easy to disseminate the information during trainings and peer education activities.

Constraints or challenges:

The economic environment in the country has impacted negatively on: -

  • Production of IEC material to support ambassadors of hope and peer education activities.
  • Shortage of, and high costs of transport hinder ambassadors of hope’s mobility.

Building National Society Capacity


The NS therefore looks forward to continued support in resource mobilisation to maintain and expand timely and quality service delivery to the most vulnerable communities.

Looking ahead:

  • The NS will continue to strive to ensure that the vulnerable communities are served, through the integrated approach