TANZANIA – Funded by the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) and implemented jointly by the government and Tanzania Health Promotion Services (THPS), Afya Hatua Project has enhanced quality HIV prevention, care and treatment in Tanzania.

The HIV infection rate in the Coast Region has declined from 7.7 per cent to 5.1 per cent in the last ten years, thanks to the project.

The project has enhanced quality HIV prevention, care and treatment services in the region through community involvement.

Speaking at the handing over of 40 motorcycles worth TSh128.8 million (US$0.055m) donated by CDC as part of improving the services in the region at the regional headquarters in Kibaha Town recently, CDC Tanzania Country Director Dr Mahesh Swaminathan said there has been a lot of achievements in the region in the past ten years in the fight against HIV.

“We have witnessed great achievements since this project was launched here about 10 years ago including the decline of the infection rates,” he said.

However, he said there were still some challenges as most of the beneficiaries of the project were living in areas where it is difficult for them to access the services easily.

He said the motorcycles donated will now enable all individuals to be easily reached with the services than before.

Dr Mahesh went on to say that the US government, through the CDC, will continue to work closely with the Tanzanian government in improving health services and saving lives.

Kibaha District Commissioner Nickson Simon, who represented Regional Commissioner Abubakari Kunenge, thanked THPS and CDC for the support, adding that the motorcycles are going to be used for the intended purpose and not otherwise.

He pointed out there are 85 centres which are providing HIV testing, counselling and treatment services in the region.

“It is our sincere hope that by next year we will record more achievements which we are going to get as a result of using these motorcycles in all our nine district councils,” he said.

He further mentioned that, through the project, 93 per cent of the individuals who are living with the infections in the region are now able to get medications on three months basis.

THPS Chief Operations Officer George Anatory, who represented THPS Executive Director Dr Redempta Mbatia, said in the period of 10 years of working in the Region, THPS through CDC has been able to provide a total of TSh40 billion (US$17.10m) for the HIV projects in the region.

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