SOME 1.9bn/- is now available for the newly introduced AIDS Trust Fund as core funding for its prevention and 'enabling environment' departments.
ATF was introduced by the Tanzania Commission for Aids (TACAIDS) in 2015 in efforts to enable the government reduce donor dependence on HIV/AIDS control and prevention activities - but the Fund had remained 'docile since then (2015) due to insufficient resources.
The current funding is com posed of the central government contribution and fund-raising activities by TACAIDS itself. The commission's Acting Director, Dr Jumanne Isango said yesterday in Dar es Salaam that the money set aside for prevention and enabling environment departments would involve, among others, the construction of an HIV test and treatment centre at Mererani in Manyara region.
"... 'it's because we've very high disease transmission among certain groups like fishermen, miners, sex workers and drug dealers ... that's why we've fishermen in Mwanza as part of the Fund beneficiaries," he said.
He further clarified that it had since been agreed that at least 90 per cent of any of the available amount within the Fund should be spent on Antiretroviral (ARVs) and treat ment of other sexually transmitted infections -- and condoms.
Twenty -five per cent is for prevention measures and 15 per cent is for enabling environments, according to Dr Isango - also urging individuals and organizations to contribute to the Fund.
TACAIDS Director of Policy, Planning and Valuation, Dr Richard Ngirwa has meanwhile said that financial constraints were posing serious challenges to efficient running of the Commission, and called on stakeholders to donate more, saying there was an increase of orphans and children living in vulnerable environments -- as well as stigmatization - even as HIV/Aids continues spreading.
"Despite awareness campaigns, behavioural change within society doesn't match with level of public education campaigns," he said.