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BENJAMIN WILLIAM MKAPA FOUNDATION TAKING PART IN THE LAUNCHING OF THE FOURTH NATIONAL HEALTH SECTOR HIV AND AIDS STRATEGIC PLAN (2017 – 2022)

Since inception of the Mkapa Foundation in 2006, we have been implementing initiatives aiming at strengthening the delivery of quality health services including HIV and AIDS Prevention, Care and Treatment in rural underserved settings of the country.The designed and implemented initiatives by the Foundation have always been targeting to address priorities set by the Government as guided by the respective National Multisectoral HIV/AIDS Framework and the National Health Sector HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (HSHSP).Following ending of the 3rd HSHSP , the Government through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children developed the 4th National Health Sector HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (HSHSP IV) which is to begin from year 2017 to year 2022 and it was officially launched in Dodoma on 9th May 2018. During the same event the MOHCDGEC and partners was also commemorating the 30th years Anniversary of the National AIDS Control Program. The Mkapa Foundation was part of the secretariat for the preparation for the launching of HSHSP IV together with other stakeholders, thus taking active participation in the colourful and well organized launching event.

The occasion was officiated by the Minister of Health, Community Development, and Gender, Elderly and Children (MOHCDGEC), Hon Ummy Mwalimu (MP). In attendance was the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG) Deputy Permanent Secretary Health – Dr Zainab Chaula and other officials, MOHCDGEC officials including Program Manager and staff of NACP, UNAIDS Country Representatives, Partners, Regional and District officials.

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Photo 1 & 2 – Stakeholder receiving brochures from BMF Staff

In his opening speech the Minister challenged the sector to be innovative in addressing the first 90 of the Fast track strategy for HIV, whereby there is need of having 90% of clients know their HIV status. She urged to use innovative ways such as testing clients during football matches by working with Tanzania Football Federation famous Football matches such as Matches between Rivals Simba and Young Africans, making use of Youth gathering events such as Fiesta organised by Clouds Media Group and events such as those organised by Radio FM. It is believed that these strategies will help to increase the first 90% target since the current country status is at 52%, but this approach should aim to reach more males who are still left behind.

Furthermore, BMF took this opportunity to share with stakeholders achievements of its various initiatives through Brochures which were distributed to participants, from different parts of the country.

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Photo:Hon. Ummy Mwalimu and stakeholders the Launching of the HSHSP IV.

The Launching of the HSHSP IV was followed by a two day stakeholders meeting to discuss on implementation of the Fast Track Strategy to reach the 90-90-90 targets by 2020. The National status of the three 90 was presented by the Government officials and different innovative and robust strategies to improve the situation were brainstormed. During the active discussion sessions, the experience by the Mkapa Foundation and other partners on “Combination Prevention” approach, was also shared, whereas through the TB/HIV project (financed by the Global Fund), more males were reached than women (37,953 (57.2%) male and 28,454 (42.8%) female) Out of the tested clients, the 1325(2%) who were HIV positive, M- 642 (48.5%) and F- 683 (51.5%) were linked to health care.Likewise the strategy by the Mkapa Foundation of ensuring facility and community approaches are interlinked as implemented through the Mkapa Fellows Programme through Irish Aid and private sector support) was shared to the audience. We further urged on the equal need to roll out the community health workers programmes whilst also strengthening facility health workers presence if we are aiming to realise the 90-90-90 targets.

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