U.S CDC and Amref Health Africa Tanzania Launches Afya Thabiti Project to Support the Government in Ending AIDS Epidemic by 2030 in Simiyu and Mara

by Amref Health Africa

Simiyu 7th March 2024 – Amref Health Africa in Tanzania (Amref) is proud to announce the launch of the “Afya Thabiti” project, which aims to sustain and accelerate a comprehensive HIV response in the United Republic of Tanzania. The project aims to implement evidence-based, person-centred HIV prevention and treatment programs in health facilities and communities in Mara, Simiyu, and Zanzibar while aligning health system-strengthening activities towards epidemic control.

The initiative is part of the global efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. It is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Tanzania. The project will also monitor, evaluate, and follow up on the management, collection, and analysis of accurate and timely information to strengthen the delivery of quality HIV services.

The five-year (1st Oct 2023-30th Sept 2028) “Afya Thabiti” project is implemented by Amref Health Africa Tanzania in partnership with the Center for International Health, Education and Biosecurity Tanzania (Ciheb-Tz), Tanzania Communication and Development Center (TCDC) and Afya Plus aligns with the PEPFAR and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) fast track targets of 95-95-95 by 2030. This project will ensure that 95% of People Living with HIV(PLHIV) know their status, 95% of them are on lifelong antiretroviral treatment, and 95% achieve viral suppression.

The Regional Commissioner of Simiyu, Hon Dr. Yahaya Nawanda, officiated the official launch of the Afya Thabiti project, which was attended by various stakeholders, including government officials, development partner representatives (PEPFAR-CDC), Amref Health Africa staff, civil society organizations, implementing partners, regional religious leaders, communities, and the private sector.

Dr. Yahaya Nawanda stressed the project’s significance in advancing the fight against, reducing the spread of, and controlling new HIV/AIDS infections in the Simiyu region. He pointed out that the HIV infection rate has decreased from 3.9% in the Tanzania HIV Impact Survey(THIS) 2016/2017 to 3.7% in THIS 2022/2023 and appreciated the efforts being made to combat HIV/AIDS.

Similarly, the Regional Commissioner of Mara, Said Mohamed Mtanda, emphasized the need to control and reduce new HIV/AIDS infections in line with the national and global goals of 95-95-95. This comes after the first results of THIS 2022/2023 revealed that the Mara region’s infection rate is 5%, higher than the national rate of 4.4%. Mtanda stressed the importance of continued cooperation and consultation to improve plans for providing HIV/AIDS services in the region.

Dr George Mgomella, Associate Director of Programmes at the U.S. CDC in Tanzania – On behalf of the U.S. CDC Tanzania Country Director, praised the progress made in the fight against HIV in Mara, Simiyu, and Zanzibar regions. The CDC has urged these regions to continue working in partnership to combat the disease. PEPFAR, through the CDC, is prioritizing efforts to extend evidence-based HIV prevention and treatment programs to healthcare workers in hard-to-reach areas of Tanzania. The U.S. government recognizes the Ministry of Health, President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government Authority (PORALG), regional officials, local government authorities, and non-governmental and civil society organizations for their commitment to improving health outcomes in Tanzania.

According to Dr. Florence Temu, Country Director of Amref Health Africa in Tanzania, the Afya Thabiti project seeks to increase the number of people living with HIV/AIDS who know their status through HIV testing and provide long-term and sustained quality antiretroviral treatment (ART) services and viral load testing to ensure viral suppression.

The project will provide HIV testing services, link newly identified PLHIV to active ART services, provide high-quality, comprehensive prevention and treatment to PLHIV, offer high-quality VMMC services for HIV prevention, and scale up innovative and effective interventions for HIV prevention and treatment services for at-risk individuals. Additionally, the project will strengthen monitoring and evaluation (M&E) reporting, clinical surveillance, and the use of routinely collected data for improving program performance.

The Afya Thabiti Project is one of Amref’s health initiatives in Tanzania and will contribute to reducing the country’s burden of HIV and AIDS. According to (THIS), for the year 2022/2023, the average rate of HIV infection among people aged 15 years and above is 4.4 per cent in the country, i.e., in every 100 people, 4 people are living with HIV. In addition, it is estimated that approximately 1,548,000 people are living with HIV in the country. Among them, 1,517,040 people are getting anti-HIV drugs in centres that provide services in various Councils. In addition, the study found that the rate of clients who achieved the required level (Viral Load Suppression) in Tanzania is 94.3% for those on medication.

Amref Health Africa in Tanzania is committed to working closely with the government, partners, and stakeholders to achieve the goals of the Afya Thabiti project and contribute to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.


About Amref Health Africa Tanzania

With a focus on reaching and working with the most vulnerable African communities to achieve lasting health change, Amref Health Africa has been active in Tanzania since 1957. 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 several national health policies, strategies, and guidelines for equitable health service delivery.

Amref Health Africa in Tanzania’s projects respond to national health priorities and sustainable development goals (SDGs) by addressing the needs of needy communities, mostly women and children. We work to increase health services’ effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability by strengthening health systems, improving access to services, advocating stronger community health systems, and influencing health policies. Amref Health Africa in Tanzania strongly supports the Universal Health Coverage Agenda.

Learn more about Amref Health Africa through www.amref.org

Press Contacts

Eliminatha Paschal, Head of Communication & Partnerships

Amref Health Africa in Tanzania Email: [email protected]

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