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AGPAHI count gains in mother to child HIV transmission prevention

NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organization Ariel Glaser Pediatric AIDS Healthcare Initiative (AGPAHI) tested a total of 70,154 people as part of the institution's Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT).

This was revealed recently in Moshi, Kilimanjaro region by the AGPAHI Communications and Advocacy Manager, Mr Justin Mahimbo, during the 2020 World Aids Day. The 2020 World Aids Day was held in Moshi, Kilimanjaro region at national level.

"The total attendance was 72,382, where among them 70,154 women were eligible for testing; a total of 887 women were identified as HIV positive, and among them 883 (99.5per cent) were initiated on treatment," he said.

According to Mr Mahimbo, between July and September this year, a total of 2,210 Adolescent, Girls and Young Women (AGYW) falling under the category of those aged between 15 and 19 and those who were aged between 20 and 24 were tested for HIV in Shinyanga region.

"Among them 543 were from 12 AGPAHI's DREAMS Initiative supported sites; this is a 25 per cent contribution of the 12 DREAMS sites to overall programme HTS performance for AGYW," he said.

DREAMS initiative is an Adolescent, Girls and Young Women focused initiative and stands for Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, mentored and Safe.

"A total of 118 AGYW that tested HIV positive, 45 (38%) were from 12 sites that are DREAMS supported sites; we have enrolled a total of 334 of HIV positive AGYW to Care and Treatment services, among these 129 (39%) were from DREAMS sites", he noted.

According to him, interventions include identification of HIV risk behaviours in the target group, HIV transmission prevention and identification and provision of care following gender-based violence.

Mr Mahimbo added that AGPAHI continued to support DREAMS initiatives in four councils in Shinyanga region, which he said included Kahama Town Council, Msalala District Council, Shinyanga Municipal Council and Ushetu District Council.

Commenting on the Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Violence Against Children (VAC), Mr Mahimbo said AGPAHI continues to support the fight against the two trends in all regions.

"There has been an improvement, since the annual number of facilities supported by AGPAHI in GBV and VAC services has increased from only 12 DREAMS sites to 472; a total of 14,589 post GBV/VAC received post GBV care," he said.

According to him, the overall annual GBV/VAC post survivors programme achievement was good, whereby he said, "AGPAHI surpassed the annual target of reaching post GBV/VAC survivors; a total of 53,690 survivors were reached, which is 163 per cent of the annual target; all regions have surpassed their annual targets too."

He attributed factors which contributed to the achievement as the continuation of providing mentorship to sites with huge targets through district and facility GBV focal persons on GBV/VAC screening to each entry point.

"Another factor was the strengthening of documentation of GBV registers at each facility entry points, documentation of GBV forms, including PF3, consent forms, GBV and VAC Medical Forms, and referral forms," he said.

He identified other factors as the continuation in coaching of new allocated staffs from different units in the facility supported to identify and document new GBV cases among others.

"These low numbers of survivors reporting within the mandated period is due to among other factors, fear of being subject to stigma, fear of reporting the culprits and the consequences associated with the incidents due to social and economic dependence on them," he noted.

ANALYSTS have hailed Tanzania ...

Author: HECKTON CHUWA, Moshi

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