The Benjamin W. Mkapa Founadation (BMF) has launched a combination prevention campaign on 1st October 2016 in Rukwa region. The campaign is carried out under TB/HIV Project which is a 3 year project developed by the Government of Tanzania under the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children through the Third Health Sector HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan and National Multi Sector Strategic Framework for HIV and AIDS.

Happiness willbroadMr. Tixon Nzunda, Regional Administrative Secretary – Rukwa (sitting center), Dr. Happiness Willbroad, Program Manager  Community Health & Social Welfare – BMF (2nd from left) and representatives from regional office and BMF at the launching of combination prevention campaign in Rukwa region.

This half day event took place at Mandela market ground was graced by Mr. Tixon Nzunda, the Regional Administrative Secretary of Rukwa region and attended by hundreds of community members. Speaking during the ceremony, Mr. Tixon Nzunda said that, the campaign has come at the right time as the prevalence rate of HIV within the region has increased up to to 6.2 while at the national level is 5.1. It is about time that people should be aware of their status hence take measures to prevent new infections especially prevention of mother to child transmission. He continues that the Government has more than 1000 HIV testing facilities country wide and approximately 800 facilities for serving ARVs for qualified clients.

Tixon NzundaMr. Tixon Nzunda cutting a ribbon to officiate the launching of combination prevention campaign in a ceremony which took place at Mandela market in Rukwa region

“I take this opportunity to insists that many of you volunteer to check your health status, as this will enable you to prevent yourself from new infections, if found positive you will be able to register for ARV services and lastly you will be able to protect your partner” urged Mr. Tixon Nzunda.

Tradition danceTradition dance group performing in front of the guest of honor and the local community at the launching of combination prevention campaign which took place in Rukwa region.

Giving remarks on behalf of BMF, Dr. Happiness Willbroad, Program Manager Community & Social Welfare said that, the project is implemented through an organization known as Save the Children and funded by Global Fund to Fight against AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria. She continues that among many other objectives of the project is to ensure community members in the selected region are tested and those found positive are registered for ARV services.

“Among many objectives of this project is to test not less than 400 people in every ward of Sumbawanga Municipal and Sumbawanga Municipal Council and those found positive are registered for ARV service. Up to date we have already tested more than 2000 people from 3 wards of Sumbwanga Municipal Council” said Dr. Happiness.

The event was filled with exciting entertainment including traditional dance performances and was attended by many local community members. Many joyfully participated in volunteering council and testing activity.

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