Video: CDC Responds to HIV in Tanzania
Since PEPFAR was launched in 2004 AIDS-related deaths in Tanzania have dropped dramatically from 120,000 per year to 86, 000 in 2009, and the number of new HIV infections has dropped from 130, 000 to 100, 00 during that same timeframe. CDC continues to work with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare along with local stakeholders to ensure that Tanzanians living with HIV receive the quality and comprehensive care and treatment services they need. The 360,000 individuals currently on ART, and the 800+ care and treatment clinics supported by CDC, are a testament to this commitment. Through this united effort, Tanzania is brought one step closer to achieving the common goal of an HIV-free generation.
DR. MMARI: Prior to joining CDC, I worked with the Ministry of Health at both the district and regional levels in developing care and treatment programs in tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. My experience working with CDC and the Ministry of Health has helped, actually, in developing a Country Operational Plan that was scientifically sound and incorporated the priorities of the Tanzania government.
In 2004, when CDC received PEPFAR funding, together with the other U.S. Government agencies, we supported the government [of Tanzania] to initiate the first pilot site for an antiretroviral treatment (ART) program. Today there are over 600 sites supported by CDC and other PEPFAR agencies in Tanzania, which actually cover 20 out of 21 regions. Currently, PEPFAR is supporting over 255,000 patients on antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. This is 58% of the patients in need of antiretroviral treatment in Tanzania. PEPFAR has impacted the lives of many Tanzanians, including a member of my own family. Before 2004, people were struggling to get treatment, to get quality services for ART. Some families were contributing some funds so that they could buy antiretroviral drugs.
But since PEPFAR started in 2004 and we have free ARVs and services, many patients are alive and healthy. I am very proud of the work I have been doing together with my colleagues in Tanzania. We have managed to train 1,000 healthcare providers who are providing quality services in HIV/AIDS clinics. We have renovated a number of HIV clinics in Tanzania. Healthcare providers are working in a very good environment and we see people living with HIV/AIDS coming to these clinics more and more to receive services. We have managed to develop a partnership framework together with the government of Tanzania which elaborates on the commitments from both governments -- the USG government and the Tanzania government.