Singing the Praises of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe was the first country to launch the population-based HIV impact assessment (PHIA). The PHIA is the first household survey in Zimbabwe to directly measure national HIV incidence, pediatric HIV prevalence, and viral load suppression, and use of services. The survey provides the sharpest picture to date of the HIV epidemic in the country. In Zimbabwe, survey teams visited approximately 15,000 households across the country to interview consenting participants and provide them with HIV counseling and testing, as well as syphilis testing.

In Zimbabwe, the song, “Knock, Knock, Knock,” was recorded by leading Zimbabwean poets and musicians to share the importance of the PHIA surveys with communities across the country. The song played frequently on the radio and reached cities and rural areas helping to inform communities about the house to house surveys that were happening across the country. “The ZIMPHIA song is a great example of the creative, collaborative approaches to public health promotion that CDC likes to support,” said Beth Tippett Barr, CDC Country Director, Zimbabwe. “It reflects a strong engagement with our national partners.” The success of the effort was evidenced by the nearly 12,000 people who participated in the survey from 2015-2016. Zimbabwe’s creativity and success to date in effectively responding to the HIV epidemic is a model for others working to pave the way toward an AIDS-free generation.

The Zimbabwe population-based HIV impact assessment was led by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Health, conducted with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and technical assistance through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The survey was implemented by ICAP at Columbia University in collaboration with local partners. Adapted from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health story.