Tanzania: State Sets Aside Funds to Boost Youth Living With HIV/Aids

THE government has set aside 5bn/- to empower economically and improve livelihoods of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS (NYP+).

The announcement was made recently by the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled), Ms Jenista Mhagama in a meeting organized by the Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS-under the National Council of People Living with HIV (NACOPHA).

Ms Mhagama noted that the government had launched an empowerment programme which is being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and that about 5bn/- had been allocated for the programme.

NACOPHA, under the auspices of USAID had convened the meeting with young people living with HIV/AIDS so that they can air their requests to the Prime Minister's Office, which aims at improving their lives.

NYP+ under its campaign dubbed 'Ebu Tuyajenge' sought to push for their demands to the government after seeking to meet Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

The Premier sent Ms Mhagama to represent him at the successful meeting, where the latter pledged to work on all the requests.

Presenting their requests before the minister, NYP+ Chairperson, Pudenciana Mbwiliza requested the government to put up best services for young people living with HIV/ AIDS so that they can fully participate in national development building.

"We also want to see the government putting up a strategic plan for economic empowerment, especially to people living with HIV/AIDS," she said.

Ms Mbwiliza further requested the Prime Minister to be the guardian of NYP+, based on the fact that Mr Majaliwa had always been on the forefront on the awareness campaign for voluntary testing.

The recent HIV/AIDS indicators survey indicates that about 40 per cent of the youth in the country are living with HIV/AIDS, out of which 80 per cent of the population are young girls.

This is why NACOPHA in collaboration with USAID decided to help the youth to meet officials from the Prime Minister's Office to push for their demands.

The meeting was also attended by the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) Executive Director, Dr Leonard Maboko. TACAIDS is an independent department under the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

NACOPHA is the umbrella organization established by People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) to serve as the Apex body and ultimate voice to advocate for issues and concerns of the PLHIV in Tanzania.

At the meeting, NACOPHA was represented by the Chairperson of the organization, Ms Leticia Kapela.

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