Newsday reports that the Italian NGO COSV Zimbabwe (Coordinating Committee of the Organisation for Voluntary Service), which used to run a vibrant HIV project in Hwange area, stopped last year and an official confirmed this.
A Catholic nun, who works as a nurse at St Patrick’s Mission Hospital near Hwange, says the organisation has done a splendid job in helping the affected and infected in the area. “We had a good working relationship with COSV. They built us the OPI block and installed a new PABX system with extension in every room and ward. Sometimes they would pay the nurses who accompanied them to their outreach programmes and sometimes the hospital would use their ambulance, but unfortunately they could not continue and the people who suffer most are those who were on medication.”
“The organisation also used to fund home-based care and community groups, and everything faced a natural death when the organisation stopped funding the projects.”
According to some statics released by Afro AIDS forum, Hwange is listed among small towns with a high prevalence rate of Aids in Zimbabwe. Due to its location, many haulage truck drivers camp overnight in such places like Cinderella where prostitution is rife. The truck drivers would be en route to Zambia. The other reason is people in the surrounding areas are ignorant about safe sex and other prevention methods.
So, it is essential to fill in the void created by the withdrawal of COSV funding.