Amref Tanzania with the support from U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Tanzania, is excited to announce the expansion of its an ongoing health intervention dubbed “Afya Kamilifu Project” in Mara region. The Afya Kamilifu project is a five-year $50,000,000 initiative currently implemented in Tanga, Zanzibar, Simiyu and now in Mara region and with the aim to scale up HIV care and treatment efforts, joining the global efforts to end AIDS epidemic by 2030.
In collaboration with local government authorities in Mara Region, CDC, Amref Tanzania and other implementing partners; the University of Maryland- Baltimore and Tanzania Communication and Development Center will work together to control the HIV epidemic. Programs will include targeted interventions to reach people leaving with HIV and keep them on treatment; early detection and treatment of tuberculosis (TB), comprehensive HIV testing, and expand coverage for HIV and TB medication, and effective prevention and infection control.
The Afya Kamilifu Project targets are built on the PEPFAR and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS fast track targets of 95-95-95 by 2030. The 95-95-95 model implies that by 2030, 95% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, while 95% of people who know their status are on lifelong antiretroviral treatment, and 95% of people on treatment attain the desired viral suppression.
The launch of the Afya Kamilifu Project in Mara was officiated by the Musoma District Commissioner Dr. Khalfan Haule who represented the Regional Commissioner of Mara, Hon Ally Happy. The launch was attended by a number of stakeholders, including the government of Tanzania officials, CDC Tanzania’s representative, Amref Health Africa Tanzania Management and Staff, civil society organizations, implementing partners, media, development partners, Regional Religious leaders, and the private sector.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Khalfan the Mara DC recognized Amref’s, CDC, and the partners efforts for implementation of the Afya Kamilifu Project in Mara Region. “having this project is a good step in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country, we appreciate the Ministry of Health who are at the driver’s seat in this initiative, we are thankful for the working tools provided by CDC and AMREF that will be used by the project team in the region,” Said Dr. Halfan , DC Musoma District.
CDC representative, Dr. Eva Matiko, had this to say “the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appreciates the partnership and efforts of Amref’s Afya Kamilifu initiative to support programs in Mara, Tanga, Simiyu and Zanzibar. We value the opportunity to partner with the Ministry of Health, regional officials, non-governmental and civil society organizations to jointly work to improve health outcomes in Tanzania.
According to the Country Director of Amref Health Africa Tanzania, Dr. Florence Temu, this project seeks to increase the number of people living with HIV and AIDS who know their status through HIV testing and get long term and sustained quality antiretroviral treatment (ART) services and Viral Load testing to assure they attain viral suppression of undetectable level. “At the end of the project, we expect all people living with HIV in the Mara region to know their status and receive treatment. The project will also strengthen systems of linking HIV positive individuals to care and treatment services and ensure the availability of well functioning laboratory systems and support clinical HIV services in all health facilities” she explained
“The project will also introduce a robust real-time routine HIV data monitoring and reporting system using innovative technology that will ensure prompt availability of accurate and quality data from facility to the national level for decision making and global reporting. It is highly expected that these quality data reports would be used to support data management systems at the facility level and build capacity for data ownership and improved data management and utilization at facility health care workers and District Health Management Teams to identify HIV service delivery gaps and improve accordingly” she Added.
‘Afya Kamilifu’ Project is one of Amref’s health initiatives in Tanzania, which will contribute to reducing the Country’s high burden of HIV and AIDS, whereby over 1.4 Million People Living with HIV which is 5% of 15 -64 years Tanzanians. According to the Tanzania HIV Impact Survey (THIS) 2016-17. Furthermore, the survey shows that the viral load suppression rate among the same age group in Tanzania is 87.0%.
ABOUT AMREF HEALTH AFRICA TANZANIA
With the focus to reach and works with the most vulnerable African communities to achieve lasting health change, Amref Health Africa has been active in Tanzania since 1957 and in 1987 the country office was established in Dar es Salaam. Since then, Amref Health Africa in Tanzania has been among the major supporters of the Government of Tanzania’s health care initiatives particularly the Ministry of Health, and President Office Region Authority and Local Government. Amref has supported the development of a number of national health policies, strategies, and guidelines for equitable health service delivery.
Currently, Amref Health Africa in Tanzania implements over 15 active projects across different regions in Tanzania. Amref’s projects are categorized into four main thematic areas: Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH); Disease Control and Prevention (DCP) program which comprises of HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), Laboratory Services, Obstetric Fistula, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Capacity Building Program. Amref Health Africa’s approach has mainly been community-based services reaching needy communities whereby majority are women (54.0%) and children (37.5%).
Amref Health Africa in Tanzania’s projects respond to national health priorities and sustainable development goals (SDGs) in addressing the needs of needy communities mostly women and children. We work to increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of health services by strengthening health systems, improving access to services, advocating stronger community health systems, and influencing health policies. With the 2018-2022 strategy, Amref Health Africa in Tanzania remains a strong supporter of the Universal Health Coverage Agenda.
Learn more about Amref Health Africa through www.amref.org
Eliminatha Paschal; Head of Communication & Partnerships
Amref Health Africa in Tanzania
Email: [email protected]