Zimbabwe is a southern African state bordered by Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique. Zimbabwe is home to 15.6 million people and has its capital in Harare. Zimbabwe has a rich history, being home to the former kingdoms of Mapungubwe and Mutapa, which were known for their building os great stone structures. These former kingdoms left behind great ruins such as the impressive 11th century ‘Great Zimbabwe’ city in Masvingo province. A richly diverse country, the constitution establishes 16 official languages and the country is inhabited by both Shona and Ndebele ethnicities. Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980 after 15 years as an apartheid-state following the country’s separation from the United Kingdom. Since independence, Zimbabwe has had struggles with land reform and economic mismanagement despite the availability of natural resources such as gold and platinum. Difficulties in reviving Zimbabwe’s economy due to mismanagement, structural adjustments and global economic crises have led to severe issues in healthcare provision and standards of living.
Tuberculosis in the country
According to the WHO, tuberculosis is a top-10 cause of death in Zimbabwe, claiming 1700 lives in 2015, with 6300 more casualties because of the combination of TB and HIV/AIDS.
After a brief increase in mortality rates in the early 2000s, the TB-related mortality rate is now in decline, but much more work is needed to prevent TB-related suffering in Zimbabwe.
KNCV Activities in the country
Zimbabwe is a country where the Challenge TB program is active. Challenge TB is USAID’s flagship global mechanism for implementing USAID’s TB Strategy and is led by KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, who also led USAID’s previous TB Control projects TB CARE I, TB CAP and TBCTA.