Since 2008, Zonta International has provided a total of US$2.2 million to achieve a nation free of AIDS and new HIV infection among children, adolescents, women and families; to support the national scale-up strategy for One Stop Centers; and to invest in community-based efforts to prevent violence against women and children. Zonta International has committed an additional US$800,000 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF from 2014 to 2016.
An HIV-free generation by 2015
Today, as a result of the partnership between Zonta International and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 97 percent of health facilities in Rwanda now provide antenatal retroviral treatment for PMTCT. Approximately 215,000 women and their families will benefit from HIV prevention and care and protection from gender-based violence and abuse, and 20,000 victims of gender-based violence and child abuse have been directly assisted by the Isange and Gihundwe One Stop Centers alone. 92 percent of HIV-infected mothers are receiving antenatal retroviral treatment, and more than 440 health facilities can now collect blood samples for early infant diagnosis for children born to HIV-positive mothers. All of these efforts have enabled Rwanda to reduce HIV transmission rates to infants to 1.36 percent – a remarkable achievement!
One Stop Centers – helping survivors of violence
UNICEF, with support from Zonta International and other partners, has supported the Rwandan Government in designing and establishing One Stop Centers to respond to survivors of all kinds of child, domestic and gender-based violence. The complex and unique needs of survivors of violence require the highest level of systematic collaboration between judiciary, police, medical, mental health, social work and legal service providers, community organizations and non-governmental organizations. These One Stop Centers provide medical, psychological and legal services to the survivor throughout the investigation and prosecution of the crime with the timeliness, objectivity, comprehension and precision required in one collaborative setting.
How Zonta helps
Zonta International’s contribution of US$800,000 will:
- Train health care workers on prevention of mother-to-child transmission and antiretroviral guidelines and implement HIV prevention services.
- Train One Stop Center personnel and coordinate follow up of cases treated.
- Disseminate HIV prevention information among adolescents.
- Deliver adolescent friendly services in the context of HIV and provide required program tools.
- Engage community members and local authorities to change social norms and behaviors through awareness campaigns.
- Conduct training sessions on gender, women and child rights and protection, positive norms and parenting in One Stop Center districts.
- Implement targeted and gender sensitive, evidence-based communication strategies.
- Partner with community leaders and district authorities to advocate for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission and pediatric HIV care and treatment in three districts.
- Empower women and girls to claim and protect their rights to safety and dignity.