Zimbabwe is working to overcome political, economic, and social instability. Declining resources for public health, together with a shortage of qualified health care workers, have made it more difficult for Zimbabweans to access quality health services.
Despite these challenges, global and local leaders have continued to invest in the promise of a better future for Zimbabwe’s people. I-TECH, with funding from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and local partners to strengthen national health systems. Drawing on resources at the University of Washington and the University of California, San Francisco, I-TECH is focusing on sustainable, wide-reaching, and context-appropriate responses. I-TECH’s work in Zimbabwe includes intensified HIV/AIDS training for lay and professional health care workers, laboratory systems strengthening, and technical assistance to local partners to implement safe male circumcision (a key HIV prevention intervention) programs.
All of I-TECH’s efforts are implemented with an eye to sustainability, efficiency, and local ownership. Gradually this work is providing more consistent, quality care for Zimbabwe’s citizens—a confident step toward strengthening the nation’s health system.
In Zimbabwe, I-TECH collaborates closely with local partners on a range of context-appropriate health interventions. This includes:
- Building the capacity of the nation’s health care workforce to
prevent, diagnose, and treat sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and
opportunistic infections (OIs). As the national antiretroviral treatment
(ART) training partner, I-TECH is working closely with the Ministry of
Health and Child Welfare to finalize and roll out a standardized,
countrywide Integrated HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support
- Assessing and strengthening public
laboratories to achieve international accreditation, and providing
updated training for laboratory professionals. This includes
partnerships with the Zimbabwe National Quality Assurance Program and
the National Blood Service of Zimbabwe.
- Working closely
with the Ministry to assess and revise the existing training curriculum
for the country’s Primary Counselor Cadre, responsible for the expansion
of counseling and testing services to hospitals and other health
- Supporting local partners to scale up safe male circumcision services by increasing service delivery in ten departments; training health care workers in safe, efficient procedure; generating increased demand; improving quality assurance and control; and increasing operations research to assess and improve activities.