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‘Use Timiza Malengo project to control new AIDS infections’

‘Use Timiza Malengo project to control new AIDS infections’

MINISTER of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Coordination and Parliament), Mr George Simbachawene has underscored the need for Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) to spend the 55.2bn/- of the Timiza Malengo project to control new infections among the youth.

He spoke when he represented the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa to hand over 4,000 tablets to trained teachers, who will be implementing the Timiza Malengo project in 18 municipalities of five regions of the country.

The tablets have all the needed subjects on skills and HIV prevention to be taught in primary and secondary schools, both public and private in the 18 councils implementing the community level Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) project.

“Youth are a key workforce and they need to be protected and given awareness on how to prevent themselves from being infected with HIV, thus the Timiza Malengo project should look at them as a labour force, key for national development,” said Mr Simbachawene.

He said the country needs a common understanding and focus on prevention and control of new HIV infections, as they have adverse impact on the economy and the labour force.

“The money being spent for treatment and medicines would have been channeled to other development projects; we need to use measures to prevent new infections, especially among the youth," he insisted.

Mr Simbachawene counseled the youth to protect themselves from contracting HIV, so that their dreams which might be cut short by the malady are attained.

Speaking about the project, Mr Kelvin Kisoma from TACAIDS said the project that started in 2017 is being implemented in Morogoro, Tanga, Geita, Singida and Dodoma regions under the Global Fund support.

He named the municipalities catered in the project as Morogoro and Singida municipal councils, Ifakara Town Council, Mlimba, Malinyi, Ulanga, Geita, Chato, Singida and Iramba district councils as well as Tanga and Dodoma City councils.

Others are Chamwino, Kongwa, Mpwapwa, Bahi and Kondoa district councils as well as Kondoa township council.

Mr Kisoma said every primary and secondary school in the 18 districts will be given two tablets each, be it public or private as they want to impart the students with HIV knowledge as more than 4,000 tablets will be given in the first phase.

Moreover, he said, they imparted two teachers from every school in the 18-district on how best to use the tablets loaded with a number of topic materials on HIV guidelines, programmes and strategies  in a bid to control the spread of the disease.

Under the project which also covered adolescent girls and young women out of school they impart them with the entrepreneurship skills and empower them economically to undertake projects for their well-being.

"The students and those out of schools are very knowledgeable in entrepreneurship, project write ups, training on HIV/AIDS, gender violence, life skills and reproductive health" said Mr Kisoma

TACAIDS Director General, Dr Leonard Maboko said they are working on a number of interventions, including biological, structural and behaviour as a combination in preventing new infections.

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Author: NELLY MTEMA in Dodoma

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