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The U.S. Government under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – with funding through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW), and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) – is commemorating the conclusion of eight years of life-saving HIV/AIDS care and treatment programs.
The CDC-funded Project HEART, which supported the provision of HIV care and treatment services, has been a game-changer for the AIDS epidemic in Tanzania since its launch in 2004.
As this program concludes, EGPAF has received new funding through the CDC to continue its support to the national Care and Treatment program, in collaboration with its newly established local affiliate NGO, the Ariel Glaser Pediatric AIDS Healthcare Initiative (AGPAHI)
From 2004 through February 2012, Project HEART assisted Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to enroll more than 143,000 people into care and treatment programs, about 78,000 of whom have been started on antiretroviral treatment (ART), including 7,000 children below the age of 15 years, in Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Lindi, Tabora, and Shinyanga regions.
An event to commemorate the conclusion of Project HEART will be held on February 8, in Dar es Salaam at the Hyatt Regency Hotel (formerly the Kilimanjaro Kempinski), Kibo Ballroom at 11:00 p.m., followed by a cocktail reception at 5:00 p.m., and featuring a stunning photographic exhibition of people whose lives have been impacted by this program. The day’s event will be officiated by Her Excellency, the First Lady of Tanzania, Mama Salma Kikwete. Other expected special guests include Dr. Hamza Hadji Mponda, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, District Medical Officers (DMOs) from supported districts, and some of the beneficiaries who have been impacted by the program.
CDC funding has enabled EGPAF to contribute to Tanzania’s national Care and Treatment achievements by expanding coverage of high-quality HIV/AIDS services, building community support, and providing assistance at the national level. In addition, funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has helped EGPAF to support the MOHSW to scale up Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and prevent HIV infections in newborns.
“The support of PEPFAR through the CDC and USAID, and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, has changed the landscape of HIV/AIDS in Tanzania,” said Dr. Jeroen Van’t Pad Bosch, Country Director in Tanzania for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. “This collaboration has improved the lives of countless women, children, and families in Tanzania, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership to reach the goal of eliminating pediatric HIV/AIDS.”
Through USAID’s Call to Action (CTA) project, which concluded in December 31, 2011, EGPAF has also provided counseling and testing services to more than 1.2 million pregnant women in the Tabora, Shinyanga, Mtwara, Kilimanjaro, and Arusha regions. Both CTA and Project HEART were closely linked to assure that patients receive a continuum of HIV prevention and care and treatment services.
“The success of these projects show that it is possible to reach the goal of eliminating pediatric AIDS by delivering quality, comprehensive services – including prenatal care to pregnant women, and care and treatment for those already living with HIV,” said Dr. Van’t Pad Bosch. “The involvement of families, communities, and governments is a critical component of reaching that success.”