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Representatives of four global development partners visiting Zimbabwe have commended Zimbabwe for leading in mobilising domestic funds to finance HIV and AIDS programmes.

Speaking at a function held in Harare for the visitors on Tuesday, Global Fund head of High Impact Africa 2, Mr Linden Morrison, said the country had also made progress in fighting major public health challenges such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV and Aids.

Mr Morrison said Zimbabwe was an example of a true partnership.

“There is willingness and plan by the Zimbabwean Government to take over responsibility of HIV and AIDS programmes by introducing the Aids Levy,” said Mr Morrison.

The European Union representative Mrs Veronique Lorenzo, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI) representative Hind Khatib-Othmans, Department for International Development’s (DFID) head of global funds department Ms Terri Sarch and the United Nations resident Co-ordinator in Zimbabwe Mr Bishow Parajuli, also took turns to shower Zimbabwe with praises.

Earlier on, Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Gerald Gwinji, had told the gathering that the team was in the country to assess projects they were funding and find ways of further strengthen collaboration.

Dr Gwinji said the high level global team would have meetings with Government officials and other relevant stakeholders from both Government and non-governmental organisations.

He said the high level delegation was also expected to make site visits to programmes they were funding such as those for HIV and vaccine stores among others.

Speaking at the same occasion, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa who was hosting the visitors, said it was the first time such senior representatives from key partners were visiting the country on a joint mission.

He said such a gesture paved way for strengthening existing partnerships.

“I have no doubt that by the end of the visit together we will have identified these opportunities for further collaboration and put concrete plans to tap into those opportunities for the benefit of our people,” he said.

The Global Fund is assisting the country in the area of HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria while GAVI alliance is assisting in the area of vaccines.

DFID UK and the EU are funding both Global Fund and GAVI, which in turn have running projects in the country.

Source : The Herald