Mobile clinics in Southern African region to fight HIV-AIDS

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Southern African region which carries the highest burden of the deadly HIV-AIDS in the world is planning to launch a string of mobile HIV/AIDS clinics along major trade routes throughout the region.

An estimated 22.4 million people, around two thirds of the global total, are living with HIV in the southern African region.

Health ministers from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) decided in Democratic Republic of Congo on November 10 and 11
to come up with mobile clinics.

A total of 32 border sites had been identified for the mobile clinics.

“While a number of countries have instituted border area interventions associated with some mobile groups, these initiatives do not provide for continuity of services to mobile populations and also do not recognise the HIV and AIDS impacts of mobility on affected communities,” reads a statement from the regional block.

“Hence the purpose for the launching of mobile HIV clinics along the major trade routes in the region is to begin to address these challenges.”

With this arrangement South Africa is set to have four mobile such mobile clinics funded by the Global Fund — two with Lesotho, Botswana (one) and Swaziland (one).

Prevalence falling or rising?

Zimbabwe’s HIV and Aids prevalence rate for the 15 to 49 years age group stands at 14,26 percent, not the reported 13,7 percent.

National Aids Council official, Raymond Yekeye said , “The initial statistics were preliminary findings of the 2009 HIV and Aids estimates.

“However, further analysis was done which revealed that the actual prevalence rate for 2009 was 14,26 percent and the projected estimates for year ending 2010 is 13,7 percent,”

Yekeye said new HIV infections have also decreased from nearly 66 000
last year to 61 000.

Zimbabwe’s HIV and Aids prevalence rate has dropped from a high of 21
percent to the current 14,26 percent.

In three southern African countries, the national adult HIV prevalence
rate now exceeds 20%. These countries are Botswana (23.9%), Lesotho
(23.2%) and Swaziland (26.1%).

South Africa health ministry, according to reports, has said that the rate of HIV prevalence in the country has been stable over the past four years.

HIV prevalence among pregnant women across South Africa in 2009 was
estimated at 29.4 percent.

South African national estimate and provincial figures in 2009 indicated a stable prevalence over the past four years, reports say.

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