Statements and Webcast
United Republic of Tanzania
H.E. Dr. Mohammed Gharib Bilal, Vice President
8 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
MOHAMMED GHARIB BILAL, the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, said that the impact of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in a poor country like the United Republic of Tanzania was enormous and the Government had continued to implement the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. Thirteen million people had been tested by December 2010 in a voluntary counselling and testing campaign, and there was a decline in HIV prevalence rates from 7 per cent for the Tanzanian mainland to 5.7 per cent, while the prevalence rate in Zanzibar was below 1 per cent. The Government had helped expand coverage and sustain services through numerous strategic plans and frameworks, as well as expanded treatment to more primary and community-based facilities. Through those interventions, the number of people on antiretroviral treatments had increased to 388,000 by December 2010, and, in 2010, 70 per cent of HIV-infected pregnant mothers and 57 per cent of HIV exposed babies were being provided with antiretroviral treatments. On the prevention side, the Government had put in place HIV prevention, including male circumcision and early detection and treatment of other high-risk diseases for the transmission of HIV/AIDS, including tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections.
Noting that combating HIV and AIDS was the responsibility of everyone, he underscored the importance of involving the private sector and civil society and acknowledged the support from both bilateral and multilateral development partners. His Country faced a number of challenges that raise the possibility that some of the national and Millennium Development Goals and targets would not be reached, including the financing gap for HIV and AIDS intervention, which was above 90 per cent. To that end, his Government was establishing an AIDS trust fund and trying to scale up its national health insurance fund and community health fund towards universal coverage. Given that people died prematurely from AIDS because, among others, poor nutrition that exacerbated the impact of HIV on the immune system, the Government also urged for immediate action on the national and global levels to integrate agriculture, food and nutritional support into programmes for people affected by HIV. His country urged the international community to complement its national efforts and continue to invest in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.