THE Mbeya Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Amos Makala, has handed over two vehicles to Mbeya City Council to facilitate handling of samples and other HIV testing materials.
Handing over the vehicles on behalf of HJFMRI, Mr Makala applauded the great work of PEPFAR through HJFMRI in Mbeya and four other regions in the Southern Highlands and stressed for the importance of maintaining quality HIV service delivery in the region.
Mr Makala urged the Regional and District Medical Officers in the area to continue sensitising the communities on the prevention of HIV transmission and the importance reaching men, adolescent girls and young women with the skills and ensuring that all those living with HIV are identified and enrolled in health facilities.
The HJFMRI programme through USG PEPFAR financial support has equipped Mbeya City Council with two Toyota Hilux Vehicles worth 191,703,073m/-. The vehicles will aid in the transportation of samples for viral load analysis and to improve the supportive supervision of HIV care and treatment services in the area.
“Between January and March 2018, a total of 13,801 people were tested for HIV, where 1,097 were identified as HIV positive and linked to treatment centres. This is equivalent to a prevalence of 7.9 per cent in the Council, which is still high,” said Dr Jonas Lulandala, the City Medical Officer at Mbeya City Council.
Celebrating 15 years of PEPFAR in Tanzania, HJFMRI with support of the US Military HIV Research Programme continues to work in partnership with the Regional and Council Health Management teams to ensure that quality HIV care and treatment services are implemented, not only in Mbeya Region, but also in Songwe, Rukwa, Ruvuma and Katavi regions in Tanzania Mainland so that all people living with HIV are tested and linked to care and treatment services.
HJFMRI under the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research/ US DoD has also been working in the region since 2004 supporting the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender Elders and Children in fighting the HIV/ AIDS pandemic.
Speaking during the hand over HJFMRI Senior Technical Director, Dr Joseph Chintowa, said: “We believe that with the handover of the two vehicles, challenges of HIV service delivery will be mitigated in the Council.