UNIFEM Launches HIV/AIDS Advocacy Dialogue with Legislators in Zimbabwe

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UNIFEM Launches HIV/AIDS Advocacy Dialogue with Legislators in Zimbabwe


UNIFEM, Zimbabwe's National AIDS Council and other partners launched an advocacy dialogue on 30 January 2007 with the parliament's portfolio committees on Gender and Health: "Facing the Challenges of Home-Based Care
Date: 2 February 2007http://www.unifem.org/news_events/story_detail.php?StoryID=556 Harare — The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), in partnership with Zimbabwe's National AIDS Council, the UN Country Team and other implementing partners, launched an advocacy dialogue on 30 January 2007 titled, "Facing the Challenges of Home-Based Care," targeted at parliamentarians. The dialogue initially was held with the portfolio committees on Health and Gender, and subsequently will address all 210 members of Parliament (MPs).The following are the recommended issues to be discussed by parliamentarians:The burden of care for people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS falls disproportionately on women. MPs should speak out more openly on the need for greater involvement of men as caregivers. There should be more public acknowledgement by MPs of the critical role played by primary and secondary caregivers, including the role of women, in caring for people living with HIV/AIDS. MPs should lobby for an incentive package for secondary caregivers. Such a package should include a monthly stipend, uniforms and bicycles (when caregivers have to travel long distances), as well as food packs. MPs should lobby for access to free treatment at clinics and hospitals and preferential access to anti-retroviral treatment for caregivers living with HIV/AIDS. Caregivers should also be given preference in access to agricultural inputs and micro-credit schemes. Eligible secondary caregivers should be given preference in nurse training. This would encourage younger people (including men) to get involved in home-based care programmes. "HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe wears a women's face, and the burden of home-based care falls squarely on women," said Ms. Eunice Njovana, UNIFEM Zimbabwe Programme Coordinator, during the advocacy dialogue. She emphasized the need for MPs to encourage the involvement of men in home-based care.For more information, contact Tafadzwa Sekeso, +263 4 792681, tafadzwa.sekeso[at]unifem.org