Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo yesterday appointed an eight-member board for the National Aids Council (NAC) chaired by community health specialist Ms Margaret Mehlomakhulu.
Health scientist Mr Philip Moses will be deputy chair, while six other board members are academic Mr Matthew Mare, Mrs Nester Mukwehwa from the private sector, Dr Gilbert Chahwanda representing traditional medicine, Dr Julia Musariri representing faith-based organisations, Mr Tatenda Chipungudzanye representing the media and Ms Tendayi Westerhof, an HIV and Aids activist.
Ms Mehlomakhulu’s board replaced the previous board led by medical practitioner, Dr Everisto Marowa, who stepped down in 2018 before the dissolution of the whole board the following year by the Health Minister.
Announcing the appointments in Harare yesterday, Dr Moyo urged the board members to work as a team to combat HIV and Aids.
He said the team was not supposed to wait for directives from the Government, but to come up with their own strategies to ensure availability and affordability of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs), among other commodities required by people living with HIV and Aids.
“We want you to be independent and not only to wait for Government directives,” said Dr Moyo.
“You must think outside the box so that there is adequate availability of ARVs.”
Ms Mehlomakhulu committed to working for the betterment of HIV patients, particularly at a time when the country was battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We need to look at what impact Covid-19 is making on the national HIV response and come up with best strategies to keep our response on the map for us not to reverse gains already made in that sector,” said Ms Mehlomakhulu.