Tanzania, US consolidate success in fight against AIDS

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - As the largest development partner working in Tanzania on HIV and AIDS, the US has contributed over US$ 1.5 billion to the African country's fight against the incurable killer disease since the start of  the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003, American Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt disclosed here Wednesday.

In 2011, Washington intends to increase this figure by US$ 357 million under the ongoing Tanzania Partnership Framework (2009-2013), which Lenhardt said had established clear goals for the US and Tanzania to achieve.

The ambassador made the remarks on World AIDS Day, observed by Tanzanians both as a day of remembrance of lives lost to AIDS and a day of celebration for those whose lives have been improved and saved around the world, through global efforts to fight the devastating disease.

“On this World AIDS Day, it is important to remember that we have a shared responsibility to build on the success achieved to date by making smart investments that will ultimately save more lives,” said Lenhardt.

Through PEPFAR, the US supported life-saving antiretroviral treatment in Tanzania for over 255,000 men, women and children as of September 2010.

The AIDS relief plan also assisted almost one million people in the country with care and support services, including 330,000 orphans and vulnerable children.

Looking towards the health of future generations, PEPFAR’s efforts have helped almost 60,000 HIV-positive pregnant women access antiretroviral treatment to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of the deadly virus.

“We can now measure our success not just in shillings invested [in health programmes], but in the ultimate measure of success – lives improved and saved,” said Lenhardt.

“We are using our money wisely for greater impact. By focusing on in-country systems and organizations, critical foundations for the national AIDS response are being enhanced for sustainability.

“More health care workers are being trained and retained, laboratory systems are being upgraded, the capacity to deliver and store needed health commodities is being expanded and institutions and organizations - both inside and outside of government - are being capacitated to carry out this critical work,” he added.
-0- PANA AR/BOS 1Dec2010

01 december 2010 17:51:51




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