Tanzania is set to adopt a more systematic approach towards response to HIV/AIDS that matches needs with investment.
The Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) Executive Chairperson, Dr Fatma Mrisho, said during a pre-recorded session of the International AIDS 2012 conference in Washington DC last week that the country plans of a more targeted approach.
Interventions which have higher returns in combating HIV and AIDS will be the priority focus and we will strategise on areas that can improve efficiency and effectiveness," she said in the recording.
In a forum hosted by the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Dar es Salaam yesterday that also included the viewing of the recording, Dr Mrisho mentioned that Tanzania would use a tool called Investment Framework as method to evaluate its national strategies.
The investment framework offers a realistic, achievable road map to decisively accelerate progress in the global HIV response with the aim of maximising benefits of the response and support more rational resource allocation based on country epidemiology and context.
Modelling of the framework's impact shows that its implementation would avert 12.2 million new infections and 7.4 million AIDS-related deaths between 2011 and 2020. Dr Mrisho also revealed that the investment framework which is being developed by the country, UNAIDS, PEPFAR, DANIDA and Global Fund will be used to design the next National Multi-sectoral Strategic Framework for 2013 to 2017.
"With the investment framework, the government hopes to maximise resources allocated to HIV/AIDS by using a science-driven approach and focus on high priority areas," she said. She said that since at least 95 per cent of the funding for HIV/AIDS response efforts comes from donors, review of the national strategies would be centred on domestic funding.
Dr Mrisho added that currently the country was being challenged by the existence of parallel programmes that have to a larger extent increased financial and human resources costs and that the adoption of the investment framework would help address that.
She said that there was need to integrate with logical avenues that are associated with HIV/AIDS like family planning, gender based violence and maternal health programmes by identifying what works best.
Following the viewing of the video session, panelist UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Dr Luc Barriere-Constantin said that the investment framework would be used locally to help guide the creation of the HIV and Health focused strategy documents that were currently being evaluated.
"We will be using the tool to organise our responses correctly, evaluate if the policies that are there on the ground are working alongside those of international programmes as well as get new evidences and knowledge," he said. Another panelist, the PEPFAR Country Coordinator, Mr Brian Rettmann, said that PEPFAR's strategy was achieve an AIDS-free generating in Tanzania and an HIV/AIDS study currently being planned in Iringa as part of the science driven approach.
He said that this study was one of three studies which would evaluate programmes and improve coordination between partners.
PEPFAR, Tanzania and many other countries and organisations are evolving their strategies on how best to fight AIDS on sound scientific evidence, from emergency mode to building sustainable health systems to deliver an AIDS free generation.
The American people have committed 1.9m US Dollars through the PEPFAR programme in Tanzania since its inception in 2003. The programme supports life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for more than 300,000 men, women and children and provides care and support for more than 1.2 million Tanzanians including more than 360,000 orphans and vulnerable children.