Govt retains ambitious HIV reduction goals in fourth plan

02Dec 2018
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Govt retains ambitious HIV reduction goals in fourth plan

THE government yesterday launched the fourth Health Sector HIV Strategic Plan covering the period of fiscal years 2018/2019 to 2020-2023 aimed at reducing new infections by 75 percent in 2020 and 85 percent in 2023.

It also aims at reducing HIV/Aids infections to children below five years old by five per cent and below to two percent in 2020 and 2030 respectively as well as reduced HIV/ Aid related deaths by 50 percent in 2020 and 70 percent by 2023.

The strategy also aims at reducing stigmatization by 2023, and completely end it by 2030.

To achieve this, the government stated that it would continue with ongoing campaigns on awareness of the disease as well as marshalling other stakeholders to participate in the national campaigns.

Officiating at the launch of the strategy yesterday, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the fourth plan comes in response to some issues raised in the implementation of the third plan.

“I appeal to national and international stakeholders to support the government in implementing the fourth plan,” he said, noting that despite several challenges, the government is determined to ensure control of HIV/Aids in the country.

The Third Health Sector HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (HSHSP III), covering the period from fiscal years (FY) 2013/2014 to 2017/2018, outlined health sector contributions to achieving zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero stigma and discrimination in Tanzania.

HSHSP III moved towards results-based planning and focused on high-impact interventions related to issues of equity, universal access, gender and human rights, decentralization, integration, public-private partnerships, meaningful involvement of people living with HIV (PLHIV), accountability and sustainability.

Majaliwa who was the chief guest on World Aids Day, held at the national level in Dodoma, noted that that as the country marks the day, it is time to reflect on successes and challenges noticed in the third plan.

He said for instance, the nationwide campaign for HIV/Aids testing, dubbed Furaha Yangu, launched in June 2018 has given positive results whereby a total of 262,114 people in the Mainland voluntarily went for testing to know their HIV status.

He said out of the number 136,389 were women while 125,725 were men, all of them tested between July and November. “It is good that people responded positively and I urge those who have not done so to take a bold step and know their status” he added.

Jennister Mhagama, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Youth and Elderly) said that the ongoing campaign against HIV/Aids will continue in efforts to end the pandemic.

Talking about December 1 when the global community commemorates World AIDS Day, she said it is a day to reflect on lives lost, and lives forever changed as a result of AIDS. It is also an opportunity to pay tribute to more than 34 million people living with HIV worldwide, she asserted.

“Today, we celebrate those lives saved and improved in Tanzania and recommit to the fight against AIDS. We also acknowledge the tremendous progress the world has made in the last 30 years through research and scientific innovations in this fight,” the minister intoned.



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