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473 on antiretroviral therapy at Gweru council clinics

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Four hundred and seventy three people were initiated on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the first quarter of 2015 at Gweru Council clinics, a senior health official has said.

By Stephen Chadenga

Acting director of health services, Christopher Ruwodo said the figure represented an average of 118 patients on ARVs per month.

“The target is to increase the number of people starting ART from 100 to 120 per month by December 2015 and this quarter’s 118 is just below the target,” he said in a report.

However, Ruwodo said the figures were encouraging in as far as the behavioural change programme was concerned as it meant that more people were coming forward to be tested and were disclosing their status unlike in the past.

He also revealed plans to increase Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) coverage from 80% to 90% by the end of the year as well as on Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) and Tuberculosis (TB) Treatment.

“We also have plans to increase the Expanded Programme on Immunisation coverage from 85% to 90% by December 2015 and the EPI coverage for January to April 2015 is now 89%,” he said.

“There is also need to increase Tuberculosis (TB) Treatment success from 79% to 82% by December 2015.

“The cure rate is still at 79% and treatment rate at 74% mainly due to high death rate of 7,3% and high defaulter rate of 11,6%.”

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