Zimbabwe ranks as the second-most developed countries within the Southern African Development Community. Great inroads have been made to provide decent health care to the general population. The combined effort from the Ministry of Health and Child Care and partners to reduce the prevalence rates for various diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and HIV is especially noteworthy. Infant mortality has been on the decline, too. However, more efforts are needed to stabilize the health delivery system.
PSI/Zimbabwe has been operating in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care since 1996. With an initial focus on HIV and AIDS prevention through the social marketing of condoms, the program has now grown significantly to include numerous services such as – HIV testing and counseling, STI treatment, voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC), TB screening, ART provision, family planning and cervical cancer screening. PSI/Zimbabwe also supports the Ministry of Health and Child Care with long-lasting insecticide-treated net (LLIN) distribution for the prevention of malaria and the social marketing of WaterGuard sodium hypochlorite solution for the prevention of water-borne diseases.
PSI/Zimbabwe believes in hiring, nurturing and retaining the best possible local talent and currently has nearly four hundred local staff located across the country.
Child Survival, Diarrheal Disease, HIV, Malaria, Non-Communicable Diseases, Reproductive Health, Tuberculosis
Strict measurement of performance feeds into the design of innovative, targeted and cost-effective interventions. PSI/Zimbabwe measures the health impact of all its interventions using disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)1, that is, years of productive and healthy lives lost due to illness and death; and couple years of protection (CYPs) which is the estimated protection provided by family planning methods over a one year period. Through the provision of services and products in 2012, PSI/Zimbabwe averted:
Furthermore it added 268,919 CYPs for clients accessing family planning services in 2012.
PSI/Zimbabwe seeks to improve health in Zimbabwe through the provision of the following services and products:
Voluntary medical male circumcision has a protective effect of 60% against HIV. As a partner in the national program, PSI/Zimbabwe offers voluntary medical male circumcision in 35 districts at fixed sites and through outreach and mobile services. PSI/Zimbabwe circumcises about 10,000 men and adolescents countrywide every month. The school holiday campaigns and workplace program are the main thrust in reaching the primary target. Demand creation activities such as community dialogues, interpersonal communication sessions, edutainment and mass media are employed to increase uptake of VMMC. The use of public personalities as role models has also helped in demand generation. PSI/Zimbabwe works closely with the traditional circumcising communities to offer safe medical male circumcision. A new site with a capacity to circumcise 100 men daily opened in Harare’s Central Business District in 2013.
PSI/Zimbabwe uses private-sector marketing strategies to increase demand for and access to attractively packaged and affordable high-quality male condoms called Protector Plus. By distributing through traditional (pharmacies, health clinics) and non-traditional (bars, hotels, brothels, kiosks, retail shops and salons) outlets, PSI/Zimbabwe reaches populations that may not otherwise have access to commercial condom brands. Demand is generated by fostering behavior change through appropriate mass media and interpersonal communication campaigns. In 2014 PSI/Zimbabwe is launching colored and flavored condoms as extensions to the Protector Plus brand. PSI/Zimbabwe sells 30 million Protector Plus condoms yearly.
In addition PSI/Zimbabwe sells an average of 1,400,000 female condoms for prevention of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies to most at-risk low-income populations yearly. PSI/Zimbabwe uses innovative strategies, such as hair salon initiatives and sex worker mapping, to market female condoms. Since 2001, PSI/Zimbabwe has trained female hair stylists from more than 1,500 salons in low-income areas to promote correct and consistent use of the Care female condom. Sex workers are also offered training on condom use to protect them from HIV/STI transmission and unintended pregnancies as well as to cascade the information to their peers. In promoting male involvement, barbers have also been initiated in the program.
HIV testing and counseling (HTC) is a crucial element of public health efforts to reduce HIV incidence and to improve access to HIV treatment and care. PSI/Zimbabwe offers HTC services through networks of directly and indirectly managed (or franchised) sites across the country. To date, 16 static sites are operational in Zimbabwe and each site also provides services on an outreach basis. Since the inception of the HTC program in Zimbabwe in 1999, well over 3,000,000 people have accessed New Start testing and counseling.
PSI/Z’s New Life program provides post-test support services to people living with HIV and AIDS at nine static partner sites. Services include psychosocial counseling, support options to clients living with HIV and anti-retroviral therapy adherence counseling. Most-at-risk populations, supports groups of people living with HIV, and workplaces benefit from the New Life program.
The ART program supports government’s efforts towards the attainment of universal access to treatment for people living with HIV in Zimbabwe. PSI/Zimbabwe started offering ART services in 2013 in Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare as part of the treatment as prevention strategy.
Since 2004 PSI/Zimbabwe has been engaged in TB activities including TB symptom screening using the recommended TB screening WHO questionnaire. In 2011, TB diagnosis services were introduced in four centers. There are currently two GeneXpert machines in Harare and Bulawayo for testing TB in sputum. By September 2013, 1,713 active cases had been diagnosed. PSI/Zimbabwe refers all active cases to public health institutions for treatment and follows up on the clients to make sure they have started treatment. PSI/Zimbabwe reports all TB cases to the National TB Programme.
The family planning/HIV integration program was launched in 2009 as an integrated prevention strategy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to promote dual protection, that is, the concurrent use of condoms with another effective modern family planning method. Family planning counseling and services are offered in the majority of the New Start and New Life sites (18 out of 25 sites) and through mobile outreach teams. The remaining seven sites currently offer family planning counseling only. Through the Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV Prevention in Zimbabwe program running from January 2013 to January 2016, PSI/Zimbabwe will adopt some public sector institutions in a partial social franchise in family planning. These institutions will receive training in long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) and support in the form of equipment and quality assurance support and supervision.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among women in Zimbabwe, accounting for 33.4% of all cancer cases among black women. It is estimated that more than 1,800 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Zimbabwe and about 1,300 die from the disease every year. PSI/Zimbabwe has launched cervical cancer screening and treatment in a bid to avert years of life lost due to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer screening using Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid and Cerviography (VIAC) and Cryotherapy services are now available at New Start centers in Harare, Bulawayo, Chitungwiza and Masvingo. Training of more service providers is currently in progress. Plans are underway to also offer services in Mutare, Chipinge, Chinhoyi and Triangle.
PSI/Zimbabwe has adopted the universal approach to distribute LLINs to households in medium-to-high malaria transmission districts. From 2011 to date PSI/Zimbabwe has distributed close to 2 million nets in 26 districts with about 1.2 million nets coming from the USAID’s President’s Malaria Initiative to support net distribution and the rest from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Mass media and behavior change communication activities, such as road shows and dramas, are being used to raise awareness and promote the correct and consistent use of the nets.
PSI/Zimbabweaims to reduce incidences of diarrheal diseases primarily among children below five years of age, people living with HIV and AIDS, and the general community through the social marketing of WaterGuard point-of-use water treatment solution. In 2013 PSI/Zimbabwe distributed 357,861 WaterGuard solution bottles. In a move to ensure the sustainability and local accessibility of WaterGuard, PSI/Zimbabwe transferred production and distribution to its private sector partner in December 2013.
PSI/Zimbabwe uses various research methods for monitoring, impact measurement, segmentation and profiling of target audiences and improving quality of programming. The methodologies, both qualitative and quantitative, include the following;
Mobile health (mHealth) is a term used for the practice of medicine and public health, supported by mobile devices. PSI/Zimbabwe has implemented a number of mHealth solutions for monitoring and evaluation in order to generate more accurate, real-time data that can be applied for programmatic decision-making. Several systems have been developed and successfully scaled up in recent years. PSI/Zimbabwe uses tablets to manage and report client records for sexual and reproductive health services provided in franchise clinics and by mobile teams. An Interactive Reminder Information System was built to track patients in TB and HIV programs, as well as to send reminders to male circumcision clients for post-operation visits.
Sexually active men and women, most-at-risk populations, including sex workers and people living with HIV and AIDS, adolescent boys, children under five years, and pregnant women.