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[pronut-hiv] Zimbabwe: Sanitation Crucial in Fight Against HIV/AIDS

  • From: "ProNut-HIV" <>
  • Date: Wed, 10 May 2006 10:57:58 -0400

Zimbabwe: Sanitation Crucial in Fight Against HIV/AIDS

The Herald (Harare)
May 8, 2006

THIRTY-EIGHT percent of Zimbabwe's rural population has access to
proper sanitation facilities, Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr David
Parirenyatwa said last week.

The minister, who was addressing water experts from the Southern
African Development Community region at an HIV and Aids mainstreaming
workshop held in Harare, also said there was need for the establishment
of an effective sanitation programme for rural communities to reduce
HIV-related opportunistic infections.

Sadc region, the minister said, should fight against the pandemic in a
collective manner. "We want stronger coordination and more openness in
the fight against HIV and Aids. The media should not sensationalise Aids
issues and should give the public right information," he said. Dr
Parirenyatwa attributed the reduction of the HIV and Aids prevalence in
the country from 31 percent in 1999 to the current 20,1 percent to the
collective approach in the fight against the pandemic. He, however, said
the 20,1 prevalence rate was still very high and there should be
educational campaigns on behavioural change. Speaking at the same
occasion, Minister of Water Resources and Infras tructural Development
Engineer Munacho Mutezo said inadequate funding was stifling development
in the water sector.

The minister paid tribute to the Swedish International Development
Agency (Sida) for supporting water and sanitation programmes in the
country. "We may differ or disagree with one another in other spheres of
development but it is clear that in the area of water development, we
should not," he said.

In response, Swedish Ambassador, Mr Sten Rylander said he was working
round the clock with a view to ensure that there was an improvement in
the relations between the two countries. "We must overcome our
differences as soon as possible," he said.

Head of the Sadc Water Division Mr Phera Ramoel said fighting HIV and
Aids was central to reducing poverty in the region. He said there was
need for collaboration between all other sectors of the economy in the
region in addressing the pandemic. The workshop, organised by Sida,
sought to promote best practices on how to hand le HIV and Aids and
gender issues in water management.