The Cardboard House

Why are we there?

  • Endemic/epidemic disease
  • Social violence
  • Health care exclusion

Zimbabwe: Latest MSF Updates


Our Work

This is an excerpt from MSF's 2015 International Activity Report:

HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe has reduced from over 30 per cent at its peak in 2000 to around 15 per cent, but major gaps in treatment remain.

MSF continues to support the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) to achieve the 90-90-90 targets set by UNAIDS. In order to improve the management of large cohorts of stable patients, community-based models of care have been introduced in Gutu, Buhera, Chikomba, Epworth, Makoni, Mutare, Mutasa and Nyanga. These models involve setting up community groups where people take turns picking up antiretroviral (ARV) drug refills. These groups have quickly grown and now include more than 5,040 patients. MSF also continues to promote the use of targeted and routine viral load monitoring, testing a total of 58,434 patients in 2015.

In a new project in Mutare, MSF is supporting the MoHCC to roll out viral load monitoring and alternative drug refill models in Manicaland province.

Pediatric and adolescent care is another focus of MSF’s HIV program. This includes conducting ARV treatment adherence counselling and support group sessions. MSF also provides second-line ARV therapy to patients whose first-line treatment has failed.

MSF has been providing treatment, based in the community rather than in hospital, where possible, to 31 patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Epworth, Buhera and Gutu. The HIV-TB programs in Buhera and Nyanga were successfully handed over to the MoHCC in 2015.

MSF is supporting the MoHCC in Epworth and Gutu to provide cervical cancer screening services.

Sexual Violence

MSF provided treatment and psychosocial support to victims of sexual violence at the Mbare and Epworth clinics. Teams also conducted health promotion activities to raise awareness of the importance of seeking medical care within 72 hours of abuse to prevent unwanted pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. A total of 2,325 consultations were carried in 2015 at the Mbare clinic alone and, of these, 1,361 were new patients.

Psychiatric Care

MSF continues to provide diagnosis, treatment and care to around 330 inmates with mental illness at Chikurubi maximum security prison and Chikurubi female prison in Harare. A total of 1,615 mental health consultations were carried out this year.

In collaboration with the MoHCC, MSF started a new mental health project in Harare central hospital, offering treatment and support to patients in the psychiatric unit.

Water and Sanitation

In 2015, more than 30,000 people benefited from MSF’s projects providing clean water and better sanitation in suburbs of Harare prone to outbreaks of disease such as typhoid, which is caused by poor water supply and hygiene conditions. Through its programs, MSF rehabilitated 20 boreholes, and collaborated with other partner organisations like Africa AHEAD to ensure that the communities knew how to protect water to avoid contamination both at the source and at home.

[1] By 2020, 90 per cent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90 per cent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained ARV treatment, and 90 per cent of all people receiving ARVs will have viral suppression.

At the end of 2015, MSF had 219 staff in Zimbabwe. MSF first began working in the country in 2000.

Patient Story

Jabulani Simango* – 21 years old, from Epworth

"When I was eleven years old, I fell seriously ill and I was taken to hospital in a wheelbarrow. I was started on ARVs but I didn’t understand why I was taking them. My parents died when I was young and my other family members didn’t have much information about HIV and AIDS … I was advised to join support groups for young people living with HIV. I then realized that I was not alone. There were many people my age who were HIV positive and from that moment onwards, I started to adhere to my treatment. MSF used to visit me at home to check if I was taking my medication consistently and in a proper way. After a while, my condition began to improve. When I showed signs of recovering, my family members began to accept me and my status. They began to realize that being HIV positive is not the end of one’s life."

* Name has been changed

Related News & Publications