Tanzania: Nacopha Develops Strategic Plan to Address Woes

THE National Council of People Living with HIV (NACOPHA) plans to develop a strategic plan that would address challenges facing the patients in the society including stigma and poor attendance to health facilities to receive Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.

Making the revelation here recently, NACOPHA newly appointed Board Chairperson, Ms Leticia Mourice, further noted that the strategic plan would bring positive changes among the members and the general public.

"The strategic plan will economically empower NACOPHA members to engage in any income generating activity," she said during an event to appoint the new board head.

The 30-member board of NACOPHA will oversee issues, which affect people living with HIV in the country for a period of three years.

According to Ms Mourice, the plan would ensure friendly health services are availed to all groups of people living with HIV in the country.

"There has been poor participation of men and youth largely girls, who are living with HIV in receiving medication," she observed.

Ms Mourice noted that the strategic plan would complement the government's efforts towards attaining voluntary testing, ARV take targets to end the disease in the namely 90- 90-90 scheme.

Launched by UNAIDS and partners in 2014, the ambitious target aims at reducing HIV to a low-level endemic disease, where 90 per cent of persons living with HIV (PLHIV) become tested and know their status by 2020; 90 per cent of all individuals diagnosed with HIV are placed on sustained ART; and 90 per cent of the individuals, who have initiated ART achieving virologic suppression.

On his part, Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) Executive Director, Dr Leonard Maboko, pledged a great support to ensure the NACOPHA members attain their goals.

"I will continue to accord you maximum cooperation to ensure your goals are achieved.

I pledge great coordination and cooperation with all partners to ensure achievements in the 90-90-90 targets," said the TACAIDS's Executive Director.

However, Dr Maboko directed the newly appointed Board of NACOPHA to protect and advocate for interests of the NACOPHA members, because authorities and stakeholders depend on them in addressing the ailment.

On his part, the outgoing Board Chairperson of NACOPHA, Mr Justine Mwinuka, expressed gratitude to the government and partners for great support to the NACOPHA during his reign, adding that the government through the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) has ensured people living with HIV get access to health services and timely medication.

"We are satisfied with efforts done by TACAIDS in ensuring that people living with HIV get timely medication," he said.

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