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Sweden on Wednesday extended 2 million U.S. dollars to Zimbabwe for the Integrated Support Program on Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV Prevention. dollars
The Integrated Support Program on Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV Prevention (ISP) is a four-year program started in 2012 to support Zimbabwe’s Ministries of Health and Women Affairs to provide services in sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention and response to gender based violence.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) manages the ISP fund and Sweden has contributed 7.3 million dollars to the program since 2012.
Swedish ambassador to Zimbabwe Las Ronnas was quoted by state news agency New Ziana as saying that the funding would help in reducing maternal and cervical cancer deaths in the country.
Zimbabwe ranks among developing countries with a high maternal mortality rate, standing at 614 deaths per 100,000 live births. “ISP is an important program because at its core stands human rights, equal opportunities for all and gender equality,” Ronnas said.
Ministry of Health and Child Care acting permanent secretary Owen Mugurungi thanked the Swedish government for the funding, which he said had vastly improved cervical cancer treatment in Zimbabwe where over a thousand women die annually from the disease.
“Annually about 1,450 women die from cervical cancer mainly due to lack of information and access to screening and treatment services,” he said.
He said cancer screening had expanded through the ISP, resulting in about 111,000 women being screened and 52 new screening sites being opened since 2012.
UNFPA country representative Cheikh Tidiane Cisse commended the Swedish government for its contribution towards improving access to sexual and reproductive health services in Zimbabwe. Enditem

-Xinhua

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