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Church group launches AIDS policy in Zimbabwe

February 17, 2006

The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) Tuesday launched an AIDS policy aimed at harmonizing and sharing best practices in a bid to halt the devastating effects of the pandemic.

EFZ chairman of the HIV/AIDS commission, David Chiweza, said at the launch that the policy gives life support to orphans, widows and vulnerable women and children.

"The policy is meant to alleviate the spread of the disease and covers prevention, transmission and care for the vulnerable groups," he said.

In welcoming the policy, Health and Child Welfare Minister, David Parirenyatwa, said the new policy would go a long way in strengthening existing efforts.

"I am happy that the church has taken this initiative in complimenting government efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS," he said in a speech read on his behalf. "The policy document is in line with the church\'s doctrine which is commendable."

The AIDS pandemic has seen a rapid rise in the number of orphans and vulnerable children and has increased the number of child headed families in Zimbabwe.

EFZ becomes the fifth leading network of faith-based organizations to come up with an HIV/AIDS policy.

Zimbabwe has an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of about 21 percent, having recently come down from 24.6 percent. The pandemic claims about 2,500 lives each week and has left about 900,000 orphaned children.

Source: Xinhua

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