‘Domestic funds crucial in fighting HIV/AIDS’

INADEQUATE domestic funding is apparently undermining the fight against HIV and AIDS as statistics indicate that Tanzania records 54,000 new HIV infections annually, about 147 new infections every day.

Addressing the session of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) which brought together AIDS coordinators from Ministries, Regions and Councils recently, TACAIDS Executive Director Dr Leonard Maboko said more efforts are needed to strengthen domestic funds to fight AIDS in the country.

Dr Maboko informed the meeting that AIDS funds from donors decrease by 15 per cent annually, underscoring the need for heightening efforts to widen local sources.

“We have to strengthen our local sources of funds, we have set targets and we have not attained them yet, still we have 54,000 new infections per year, this is approximately 147 people who get new infections per day,” he stated.

“Statistics also show that 31 girls are infected with HIV every day, it is clear that there is a need to strengthen and develop adequate local resources to fight against AIDS to serve our youth,” he added.

“Most of the funds for AIDS response come from development stakeholders, we have not yet reached a good point in financing HIV programmes using our domestic funds, even the ministries and public institutions’ funds planned to implement some plans in the annual budgets are not there,” said Dr Maboko.

He noted that despite the country’s 2030 target of realiing three zeros; that is zero new infection, zero death and zero stigma, the high dependence in financing programmes was a big challenge.

Dr Maboko stressed that while funds from donors have continued to decrease in the last two to three years, the trend shows that they would further decrease in the coming years.

TACAIDS have not yet reached all the councils in the country as per its priorities, he noted.

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