Joint mission highlights successes and challenges in Tanzania’s AIDS response
05 April 2011
In a joint mission to the United Republic of Tanzania, UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro and UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé met with high-level government officials on Monday, including the President, Prime Minister, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, and head of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS).
“Through strong leadership and political will Tanzania has had great success in its response to HIV,” said Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, in a meeting with President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete at the State House in Dar Es Salaam.
An estimated 52% of people in Tanzania who need antiretroviral treatment are now receiving it, up from virtually zero coverage in 2004. Coverage of services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV reached 70% in 2010, up from 10% coverage in 2004.
Through strong leadership and political will, Tanzania has had great success in its response to HIV
UN Deputy Secretary-General Dr Asha-Rose Migiro
“I want your legacy to be zero new HIV infections among children by the year 2015,” said Mr Sidibé, in his meeting with President Kikwete. “I want Tanzania to be one of the first countries to eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child,” he added.
President Kikwete underscored that HIV was a high priority in the country. However he expressed concerns over sustainability of the AIDS response, particularly in the context of the global economic downturn. To address these concerns, the government recently created an AIDS Trust Fund with the aim of reducing the national funding gap for AIDS.
Mr Sidibé echoed the President’s concerns over the lack of predictable and long-term funding for HIV responses. About 96% of people on HIV treatment in the African continent are currently funded through external sources, he said. Mr Sidibé urged Tanzanian authorities to lead a debate at this year’s General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS over country ownership of HIV responses.
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