Tanzania Launches National Strategic Plan to Integrate Health Sector.

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Tanzania has launched the Integrated Health Sector HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) National Strategic Plan (NSP) to contribute to ending the three epidemics by 2030.

Statistics show that Tanzania has about 1.7 million people living with HIV (PLHIV) and over 2 million people infected by viral hepatitis B and C. Currently, there is limited funding to tackle viral hepatitis. Similarly, STIs are on the increase and there are also limited resources to diagnose and treat all STIs.  

This newly developed strategy is well aligned with existing major national documents including the Health Sector Strategic Plan V (2021-2026) and falls within the World Health Organization advocacy programme for countries to align programme-specific plans to the National Health Sector plan. This NSP is also aligned with the WHO Global HIV, Hepatitis, and STIs Strategies 2022-2030.

Launching the strategy, the Minister of Health, Hon. Ummy Mwalimu underscored that, the Government through the Ministry of Health and in collaboration with stakeholders has made commendable progress towards achieving the goals set for itself in the fight against HIV. She believes that this integration will therefore contribute to the successful management of viral hepatitis and STIs.

“Strategic plans are crucial in programming in health, as they guide the health sector in implementing strategically focused responses. This strategic plan comes at a timely hour as it will expedite the integration of HIV with VH and STIs and more broadly within the health delivery system for positive results”. She explained.

The integration presents several opportunities for the country including attracting more funding into the integration agenda, broadening its scope of health services, increasing efficiency, avoiding duplication of efforts, maximizing synergies, and preventing and treating diseases with shared risk factors utilizing common management frameworks.

On his part, the Country Representative of WHO, Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses congratulated the government for the commitment and leadership shown, in developing this integrated HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STI National Strategic Plan.  

He urged all stakeholders gathered to join hands in implementing this integrated HIV, Viral hepatitis, and STI Strategic Plan in earnest zeal and monitor diligently the implementation of this NSP while staying accountable.

“For WHO, we are proud to have been part of the processes for the development of this integrated National Strategic Plan (NSP)”. He noted, “I would like to assure you that, as is always the World Health Organization is at your disposal to provide the much-needed support be it technical or financial towards this last mile as we end the AIDS, Viral hepatitis, and STIs epidemics”.

With seven years left towards the 2030 goal of ending AIDS, Viral hepatitis, and STIs, stakeholders gathered pledged unrelenting support to ensure that HIV, Viral hepatitis, and STIs will no longer be diseases of public health importance by 2030.

The launch gathered diverse stakeholders from the health sector (Ministry of Health, PO-RALG, TACAIDS), development partners like the UN Family (WHO, UNICEF, and UNAIDS), the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Civil Society Organizations including NACOPHA as well as regional and district medical officers.

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