BAGAMOYO DISTRICT Hospital’s HIV Care and Treatment Clinic (CTC) has managed to attain 99 percent of HIV Viral Load (HVL) suppression for 93 children under 15 years of age between December 2021 and March this year.
The success has been recorded through joint support from Bagamoyo District Council and Tanzania Health Promotion Support (THPS) under the funding from US CDC/ PEPFAR Afya Hatua project.
Before introduction of the project in the district in 2021, HVL suppression attained by this group was about 94 percent.
Dr Anneth Barongo- Afya Hatua District Manager, said at Bagamoyo District hospital recently that the success has also been made possible through collaboration with stakeholders, parents and guardians and peer educators.
“Children need close supervision when it comes to taking medications especially on the daily basis. We involved all groups to make sure we meet our targets and we have succeeded”, she stated.
Provision of enhanced adherence counselling sessions to all children with high HIV Viral Load (HVL) through which the children, health care providers, caregivers and peer educators jointly engaged with parents and guardians to determine the causes for their unsuppressed HVL was part of the strategies of the project.
In addition to that, THPS facilitated training on adherence counseling and on job training to two healthcare workers as well as facilitating transport allowance to peer educators and healthcare providers at Bagamoyo District Hospital.
Bagamoyo District Council AIDS Coordinator Dr Zena Kipanga pointed out that, through the Afya Hatua project they also succeeded in reaching out 97 youth aged between 15 to 19 years and other 141 youth aged between 20- 24 years who are living with HIV with the services and that the outcomes are very encouraging.
“We saw the importance of reaching out to these two groups which are sexually active as one way of fighting infection rate in the area”, she stated.
According to Dr Zena, there are a total of 6,384 individuals in the district who are receiving HIV treatment and care services in the district. The level of infection (prevalence rate) in the district is 6.7 percent.
One of the beneficiaries, Mwajabu Omary (16) testified that she has been able to live a normal life after receiving the services.
“Before joining these services I was very weak and had lost the hope of living but all has changed after I was placed under Afya Hatua programme and Bagamoyo district hospital CTC team”.
According to Regional Medical Officer (RMO) Dr Gunini Kamba, there is a total of 53,450 individuals who are receiving HIV treatment and care in the region whereby HIV infection rate is at 5.5 percent.