The government plans to establish an Aids Trust Fund in the next financial year after a number of development partners’ phase out their support.
According to Tanzania Commission for Aids (TACAIDS) the establishment of the Trust Fund will reduce donor dependency by 34 percent since HIV/Aids programmes in Tanzania are donor dependent by 97 percent.
Most of development partners like the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) are now focusing on health systems strengthening as part of HIV support instead of treatment programmes.
Beng’i Issa who is TACAIDS Director of Finance and Administration briefing journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday on the HIV/Aids Financial situation in Tanzania said since 2008 some development partners have phased out their support for HIV/Aids.
The Commission through its HIV/Aids programmes is depending on donors by 97 percent with the funds coming mainly from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR).
The establishment of the Trust Fund will enable the government to contribute 300bn/- per year to support TACAIDS meet its goals including reaching more people in treatment programmes, he said, adding that about one percent of Tanzanians are infected every year.
Beng’i said due to the financial crisis the Commission failed to achieve its goal of treating 100,000 people, reaching only half of the number last year.
In addition the new guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO) of starting ARVs for patients with 350 CD4 counts from 200 previously will cost up to 118,3500,000/- for the next 5 years. Current ARV programme has enrolled 740,040 patients, but only 384,816 of them have started treatment of ARVs.
The official said the global financial situation in 2008 led to the drastic reduction of aid.
Beng’i said the Commission needed at least 1.0trn/- per year to meet its goals, but Tanzania receives 550bn/- per year from donors which is half of the needed resources.
“The trust fund will help in case all the donors withdraw. I want the public to understand that establishing the fund does not mean we want to do away with donors. We just want to tap more of our own funds” she said.