TANZANIA—Tanzania has announced the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for the Integrated Health Sector HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), with the goal of contributing to the elimination of the three epidemics by 2030.
Tanzania now has approximately 1.7 million people living with HIV (PLHIV) and more than 2 million people infected with viral hepatitis B and C, according to WHO estimates.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) can be used to treat and prevent HIV. Untreated HIV can lead to AIDS after many years.
HIV infection has no known cure. HIV infection, however, has become a manageable chronic health condition with access to efficient HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care, including for opportunistic infections, allowing people living with HIV to live long and healthy lives.
WHO, the Global Fund, and UNAIDS all have global HIV policies that are in line with SDG target 3.3, which calls for the end of the HIV epidemic by 2030.
However, financing for viral hepatitis is limited, and STIs are on the rise, with insufficient resources for general STI diagnosis and treatment.
The newly established plan is consistent with significant national documents, such as the Health Sector Strategic Plan V (2021–2026).
It also falls within WHO’s advocacy program, which encourages nations to connect program-specific plans with the National Health Sector plan.
Furthermore, this NSP is consistent with the WHO Global HIV, Hepatitis, and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Strategies for 2022–2030.
During the strategy’s introduction, Health Minister Hon. Ummy Mwalimu emphasized the outstanding progress made by the government and its partners in combating the HIV infection.
She stressed that this combination will help to control viral hepatitis and STIs successfully.
Strategic plans are critical in health programming because they lead the health sector in delivering strategically focused responses, according to Ummy Mwalimu.
“This strategic plan comes at an opportune time because it will accelerate the integration of HIV with VH and STIs, as well as more broadly within the health delivery system for positive results,” she noted.
The integration agenda offers various prospects for the country, including increased funding, expanded health-care services, and increased efficiency.
The agenda also calls for avoiding duplication of efforts, optimizing synergies, and leveraging common management frameworks to prevent and cure diseases with shared risk factors.
WHO Country Representative Dr. Charles Sagoe-Moses thanked the government for its commitment and leadership in producing this integrated HIV, viral hepatitis, and STI National Strategic Plan.
He asked all stakeholders to work together to implement the plan and to closely monitor its progress, reiterating WHO’s willingness to provide technical and financial assistance to end the AIDS, viral hepatitis, and STI epidemics by 2030.
With only seven years before the 2030 target is met, stakeholders assembled at the launch committed unwavering support to guarantee that HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are no longer considered diseases of public health relevance.
The event brought together a wide range of health sector stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health, PO-RALG, and TACAIDS, as well as development partners, civil society organizations, and regional and district medical officers.