The ZVITAMBO Vitamin A trial was conducted between 1997 - 2001 which corresponded to the peak of the HIV epidemic in Zimbabwe.  When the trial began, there were no public sector HIV testing and counseling services available in the country so ZVITAMBO trained the 90 nurse-midwives employed by the trial in this skill.  At the end of the trial, the ZVITAMBO staff wanted to use these skills to support the newly formed National Program for PMTCT.  Funding was sought and awarded from Canadian International Development Agency from October 2001.  Initially, ZVITAMBO offered technical assistance to hospitals wishing to incorporate, into their regular services, work directed at preventing mother to child transmission of HIV. ZVITAMBO started work with St Theresa's Hospital (Roman Catholic, Dominicans) in Chirumhanzi (Midlands), then took on a group of three mission hospitals (RC and Elim Pentecostalist) in essay writers Nyanga North in October 2002, another group of three mission hospitals (RC and Anglican) in Mutasa District in July 2003. Towards the end of 2003 we began training and "jumpstarting" the three Methodist hospitals of Mutambara (Chimanimani District), Nyadiri (Mutoko) and Old Mutare (Mutasa).

Beginning in 2005, ZVITAMBO began supporting PMTCT at the district level.

Key services supported were:

 1. HIV counseling and testing for antenatal women and their husbands.

2. Infant feeding education and counselling for all couples (HIV positive, negative, and of unknown status).

3. Nevirapine prophylaxis for HIV positive women and their infants.

4. Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for pregnant women with clinical AIDS and for babies born to HIV+ women.

5. Infant HIV testing (by PCR) at 6 months.


Finally, ZVITAMBO team members played an active role in the PMTCT Partnership Forum. 


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About Zvitambo

The Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research is a multidisciplinary Zimbabwean organization that has developed and attracted expertise in various areas of biomedical and applied research and programming in the areas of maternal health, child health and growth, immunology, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, food security and livelihoods, WASH and counseling

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16 Lauchlan Ave
Meyrick Park

Tel : +263 (24) 2306056 / 2306259 /2306028
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