E-Voucher Program Providing Food To Malnourished Zimbabweans Living With HIV, TB

An electronic voucher system, introduced by the World Food Programme (WFP) and implemented by the health ministry and non-governmental organizations, is helping Zimbabweans living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) and their families obtain food and fight malnutrition, PlusNews reports. “The program supports about 5,000 patients and their families with essential food items and is operating at seven health facilities in the capital [Harare] and has been extended to the second-largest city, Bulawayo,” the news service writes.

Patients on antiretroviral or TB treatment who are malnourished “are given vouchers, in the form of scratch cards similar to mobile phone airtime cards, which they take to designated retail outlets for specific rations that are ‘good for one month and for a maximum family size of five people,’ in addition to 10kg of corn soya blend they receive at registration,” according to PlusNews. AIDS advocate Martha Tholanah said the program is “essential” for helping households become more food secure, “‘[b]ut there is a need to go beyond addressing current problems such as malnourishment and ensure that patients receive help that enables them to sustain themselves and their families through income-generating projects,’ she cautioned,” according to the news service (10/20).