USAID projects propel TZ close to UNAIDS milestone target

DODOMA: TANZANIA is close to reaching the UNAIDS 95-95-95 fast track targets for fighting HIV, thanks to the USAID supported project, which enhanced capacity to deliver quality mother to child HIV prevention and care services.

This was said on Thursday in Dodoma during celebration of four years of successfully increasing the capacity of government entities and implementing partners to deliver quality Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services through USAID Reducing Infections Support and Education (RISE) II project implemented by mothers2mothers.

The event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Governance (PO-RALG), development partners, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) implementing partners, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), beneficiaries and the private sector representatives.

According to a statement released by the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam yesterday, USAID has contributed to Tanzania’s dramatic decline in child and AIDS-related deaths as part of the US government’s longstanding, bilateral partnership with Tanzania to end the HIV epidemic.

Since 2003, the US government’s PEPFAR programme has provided more than 6 billion US dollars (15tri/-) to support Tanzania’s control of the epidemic through prevention, testing and treatment and health system strengthening,

“This has led to a dramatic decline in child and AIDS-related deaths, with Tanzania close to reaching the UNAIDS 95-95-95 fast track targets for fighting HIV,” reads part of the statement.

The statement further said that early investments in Tanzanians’ health and well-being have benefits that compound throughout their lives and make society more prosperous.

This is a priority for both the governments of Tanzania and the US, as reflected in USAID Tanzania’s five-year Country Development Cooperation Strategy.

Through the RISE II project, USAID worked with the Ministry of Health to develop the National Community PMTCT Operational Framework and Implementation Guidelines to standardise implementation of peer-led PMTCT services across the country and supported implementation of the peer-led mentor mother model in PEPFAR and non-PEPFAR supported sites.

Using this model, the project succeeded in putting 100 per cent of pregnant and breast-feeding women living with HIV on Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) in the 10 mothers2mothers supported sites. As a result, over 95 per cent of HIV exposed babies were born HIV-negative, which contributes toward achieving an AIDS-Free generation by 2030.

Today’s celebration is a result of an effective partnership led by the Ministry of Health, President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government Tanzania- PO-RALG (including RHMT and CHMTs), Mentor Mother Champions, health care providers at all facilities where m2m programme was implemented, implementing partners and the people of Tanzania through long-standing partnership between Tanzania and the American people.

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