...has called on various stakeholders involved in the fight against HIV & AIDS in the country to ensure that they allocate sufficient resources to the fight against the scourge in the country, instead of heavy reliance on donors.
Dr Biteko said this yesterday in Morogoro during a special meeting of stakeholders involved in the fight against HIV & AIDS in Tanzania under the theme "Strengthening leadership and guidance on ensuring sustainable and efficient multi-sectoral response towards HIV epidemic control" as part of Tanzania's national commemorations of World AIDS Day, which brought together government leaders, people living with the virus and development stakeholders including Geita Gold Mining Limited (GGML).
He said that despite the various efforts made by the government and stakeholders, HIV & AIDS has not yet been controlled.
He called on all stakeholders to continue with efforts to implement various interventions aimed at eradicating the disease.
"Tanzania has made great strides in the fight against HIV & AIDS and I want TACAIDS and stakeholders to ensure that you work together in the fight against HIV & AIDS by also increasing the participation of the people," Dr Biteko stressed.
GGML's Senior Manager of Health, Safety and Environment, Dr Kiva Mvungi, who also contributed to the meeting, echoed Dr Biteko's arguments, stressing that other areas where the government can tap into and reduce its dependence on donors are through large companies that operate in the country.
"For example, GGML works with TACAIDS every year to organise the Kili Challenge campaign, where participants climb and cycle around Mount Kilimanjaro and the money raised goes to the AIDS Trust Fund as well as enabling interventions by organisations working on HIV & AIDS interventions," he said.
Dr Kiva said another way to move away from donor dependency is to involve the Association of Tanzanian Employers (ATE), which has various members including major mining companies and other companies that can contribute funds to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Jerome Kamwela, Acting Executive Director of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) , said the meeting aims to be a forum for consultation between the government and stakeholders in the fight against AIDS.
He said the meeting was particularly important at a time when Tanzania was aiming to meet the global target of ending HIV & AIDS by 2030.
"The goal is to have Zero new HIV infections, Zero HIV related deaths and Zero stigmatisation of people living with the virus," he said.