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OVER 20 000 people in the Midlands Province contracted Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) between January and September last year.

Statistics released by the Ministry of Health and Child Care yesterday during a breakfast meeting organised by the National Aids Council (NAC) Midlands Province showed that 20 306 STI cases were recorded between January and September with Gokwe South, Zvishavane and Vungu districts constituting over 50 percent of the recorded cases.

Gweru district medical officer, Dr Shakespeare Mureyani said of the cases, 12 349 cases were females while 7 957 were males.

Dr Mureyani, however, said the recorded cases had dropped marginally compared to the same period last year.

“According to these figures, women are at higher risk compared to men,” he said.

Dr Mureyani said Midlands recorded a high number of deaths as a result of opportunistic infections after some parts of the province were hit by a shortage of anti-retroviral drugs while some of the patients resisted ARV treatment.

“We recorded 1 443 deaths as a result of opportunistic infections in the province. This was mainly due to ARV drug interruptions in Gokwe South. We faced serious resistance by patients,” he said.

Dr Mureyani said there was a low turnout to voluntary male circumcision in the province.

“We were targeting 9 450 people between 15 and 49 years to undergo voluntary male circumcision last year but we only managed to circumcise 6 861,” he said.

NAC Midlands provincial monitoring and evaluation officer, Ms Margaret Mika recently said some parts of Midlands were also hit by shortage of supply of drugs for people living with HIV.

“There are 84 467 people on first line ART in the province, of which 6 297 are children and 78 170 are adults.

Stock outs were reported in Gokwe South and Chirumanzu due to logistical hiccups at Natpharm,” she said.

Source : The Herald