MUTARE – UNICEF has rolled out a programme to trace and assist HIV-positive mothers and displace children who had their treatment schedules disrupted in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai.
The furious natural disaster ripped apart Chimanimani and Chipinge, leaving hundreds dead, while hundreds of others are still missing.
UNICEF country representative Laylee Moshiri told this publication Monday that the programme would commence next week.
“We have HIV positive mothers and children whose treatment programmes could have been disrupted because of Cyclone Idai,” she said.
“We need to trace them and ensure that they get back on treatment in time. In that regard, UNICEF has contracted some partners since it is a specialised area that needs experts,” Moshiri said.
“UNICEF has been on the ground assessing the needs of people after Cyclone Idai. The situation is dire and this is the reason why we have joined hands with Government, other organisations and the local authority to find ways of bringing relief to the affected areas,” she explained.
Moshiri said they would also conduct a screening exercise for malnutrition.
“We also intend to undertake screening for malnutrition so that we establish the extent of need in terms food and other basics in the affected areas,” she said.
Ms Moshiri said risk of sexual exploitation and abuse were also high in such situations, hence UNICEF was working with several organisations that included UNFPA to sensitise villagers.
When Cyclone Idai disaster struck Chimanimani and Chipinge, it left about 344 dead and relief intervention efforts are being carried out by Government and its partners.