A report on the Zimbabwe Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) programme: progress towards achieving MDG6 target 6B: achievement and challenges
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Zimbabwe's target to achieve Universal Access to treatment for HIV and AIDS, was severely affected by a decade long economic recession that threatened to reverse all the country's social and economic indicators. Despite these challenges, by September 2010, 282,916 adults and children (47.7% of those in need of treatment) were on treatment at 509 sites countrywide since national scale up started.. ART services are predominantly offered through the public sector, with the private sector being an untapped potential resource for ART services for the future. Challenges of skilled and adequately trained human resources have hindered progress towards service availability. Providing access to children in particular has been constrained by lack of clinical mentor-ship for health workers, weak systems for support supervision, and inadequate HIV diagnostic services especially for children under 18 months and challenges with follow up of the HIV- exposed infants. Though the country has not met Its target of Universal Access by 2010, significant progress has been made with over a30- fold increase in service availability.