Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: MPs Hailed for HIV/Aids Fight

TANZANIAN parliamentarians have been hailed, as shinning examples, for participating in the fight against HIV/Aids in the country.

The Inter-Parliamentarian Union (IPU) HIV/AIDS Advisory Group Chairperson, Prof Marleen Temmerman, said the Tanzania Parliamentarians AIDS Coalition (TAPAC) has ensured strong engagement of legislators in the fight against the epidemic in the country.

Prof Temmerman who is also a Senator in the Belgium Parliament and a medical doctor specializing in Obstetrics and Gynaecology told academicians at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) that parliamentarians all over the world have not been visible in the fight against HIV/Aids, given their portfolios.

"Parliamentarians are not visible in the fight against the HIV/Aids pandemic and the IPU is doing a lot to have the MPs get involved in the fight, gradually by making tools to help the legislators participate more effectively," she explained.

Due to the exemplary efforts by the Tanzania legislature in the fight against the disease, the HIV/Aids Advisory Group of the IPU decided to have its latest guideline for parliamentarians on HIV/Aids launched in the country today.The HIV/AIDS Advisory Group of the IPU visited MUHAS where they were treated to a presentation on an HIV Research by the institution as well as Kimara Peer Educators and Health Promoters Trust, which is implementing an HIV/Aids project being funded by TAPAC.

The Kimara Peer Educators and Health Promoters Trust, targeted creating better and safer community level environment for orphans and most vulnerable children, to be supported, loved and protected from HIV infections. On Monday, the group which comprises members of parliament from different countries around the world met with different HIV/Aids stakeholders including the Tanzanian Commission for Aids (TACAIDS), the National Aids Control Programme under the ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

Other groups that met with the IPU parliamentarians are the National Council of People Living with HIV (NACOPHA), Technical AIDS Committee under the Tanzania Parliament, TAPAC, The Parliamentary Standing Committee on HIV/Aids and the Health Policy Initiative under USAID.

Today, the HIV/AIDS Advisory Group of the IPU is launching the guideline titled "Raising the profile of HIV in Your Parliament".

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