Tag Archives: Tanzania

Food Assistance to be Provided to Tanzania

“Tanzania is among seven African countries that will benefit from a donation of more than 100,000 tons of agricultural commodities valued at US$170 million from the AmeriAcan people under the Food for Education program this year, the US Embassy here said Monday,” says an Afrique en ligne article.

Food assistance provides a healthy meal and may be the only meal that children receive each day. It will benefit 244,315 children. The program is administered by the USDA and donates agricultural products and technical assistance.

“Overall support from the American people to Tanzania’s agriculture sector impr oves productivity, access to credit, and food processing capacity to help Tanzania overcome regional and seasonal food insecurity and boost family incomes, especially among women smallholder farmers,” quotes the article.

‘Given Tanzania’s enormous agricultural potential, this assistance supports Tanzania’s goals of achieving food self-sufficiency, improving the business climate for agriculture, and eventually becoming a major food exporter to the region and the world,’ the embassy statement added.

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Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover visits HIV/AIDS programs in Tanzania

Danny Glover, UNICEF Ambassador and famous actor, traveled to Tanzania in July 2009 to support HIV testing efforts, counseling for PMTCT (prevention of mother-to-child transmission) and the fight against stigma in the country. Mr. Glover’s brother is HIV positive, and Mr. Glover sees the need for youth support clinics, testing, and a reduction in stigma. He also supports PMTCT efforts and the ongoing support for pregnant women who are HIV positive, including the involvement of their husbands or boyfriends.

During his visit to Tanzania, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover talks with a mother who has brought a child to a clinic and is waiting to be attended by a nurse.

During his visit to Tanzania, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover talks with a mother who has brought a child to a clinic and is waiting to be attended by a nurse.

Mr. Glover met with youth from the Zanzibar Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS and talked with people from the Zanzibar Youth Education Development and Environment Support Association, who provide a range of support services. Mr. Glover said that HIV stigma is “one of the most damaging” factors at work in Tanzania. We feel that this is true across the world, and we couldn’t agree more.

Read the full article here.

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UNICEF and ZAPHA+ work to reduce stigma in Zanzibar

Though HIV prevalence is not as high in Zanzibar as in other areas of Tanzania, stigma there is rampant. This UNICEF article, quoting the 2007-2008 Tanzania HIV and Malaria Indicator Survey, indicates that “51 per cent of women and 41 per cent of men would keep it a secret that a family member is infected with the HIV virus.”

During a group exercise in the Young Journalists workshop in Unguja, Zanzibar, the participants discuss different scenarios of HIV stigmatization.

During a group exercise in the Young Journalists workshop in Unguja, Zanzibar, the participants discuss different scenarios of HIV stigmatization.

UNICEF and ZAPHA+ (Zanzibar Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS) work to combat this stigma and encourage people to get tested. ZAPHA+ provides workshops and counseling for young people living with HIV to help reduce stigma in their communities and help them cope with emotional and health issues. Children living with HIV are empowered to tell their own stories and build strategies to change attitudes.

The model of storytelling was effective this week during a 7-day Young Journalists Workshop at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) Children’s Panorama, where 24 children who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS had an opportunity to share their experiences and wrote a newsletter that was sent to other schoolchildren in Unguja and Pemba.

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Club Raises Awareness for Disaffected Children in Tanzania

This article, published in the Arizona Daily Wildcat (the newspaper for the University of Arizona), discusses an international service trip similar to AIDSTanzania at William and Mary. It’s called Support for International Change, and it sends groups of students to Tanzania to promote HIV testing and awareness in northern Tanzania.

As one group member described, the trips are like a study abroad experience, except you’re volunteering as a member of the community and getting involved with helping others, as opposed to just looking. That sums it up quite well. Keep up the good work, Support for International Change!

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Cause Celeb: Nigel Barker on HIV Prevention in Tanzania

Nigel Barker, best known for his appearances on America’s Next Top Model, has directed Generation Free, a documentary about fighting mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Tanzania. The video was available on TVGuide.com but isn’t any longer – if you know where you can view it on the web, please let us know. As sometimes happens with “cause celeb,” celebrities try hard but fail to capture the real facts or over-romanticize efforts. It sounds like this documentary tells the straight and hopeful truth about a real problem with (the key part) a real solution. Hopefully it will inspire others to work toward stopping it so that a generation of children can “live free.” Full article here.

Nigel Barker's Generation Free: AIDS Prevention in Africa

Nigel Barker's Generation Free: AIDS Prevention in Africa

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Assistance for Tanzania to Achieve Millenium Development Goals

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission (EC) gave 14 ambulances, 5 pick-up trucks, 5 motorcycles, communication equipment, blood bank and basic delivery equipment worth $985K  (Sh1.3 billion) to Tanzania. The facilities will help Tanzania achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) number 4 and 5, which aim to reduce under age five mortality by 2/3 and maternal mortality by 3/4 by the year 2015 from the levels of 1999.

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HIV Awareness Campaign Yields Results in Tanzanian Village

None of the 2,500 out of 15,000 villagers in Rusaba Village, Kasulu District, Kigoma Region, tested positive for HIV this year between July and September. Local health workers had never come upon such results. They attribute it to an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign conducted by Tanzania Red Cross and Action Aid International, low interaction between villagers and outsiders, and close-knit family structures.

Depending on the size and diversity of the population tested, HIV infection rates can appear distorted. AIDSTanzania, for example, has tested in rural villages during our trips to the Arusha area. In one village, of 100 people tested there were zero positive tests. At face value this is great news. However, a number of factors could be at play: HIV-positive people who know of their infection are usually not going to get tested again; those who suspect they have HIV are afraid to come forward and get tested; and with only 100 tests available, tests go to the aware individuals who show up early because they are already thinking about HIV prevention.

Because the testing in Rusaba Village was of 2,500 of 15,000 people over a period of a few months, we can be confident that it was a representative sample of villagers. These results, and the influential HIV awareness campaign, are something to keep in mind as we work to prevent HIV, encourage testing, and spread education.

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First, a vaccine in Thailand…now, one in Tanzania?

An article on Physorg.com reveals the results of a small Phase II HIV vaccine

HIV Virus

HIV Virus

trial in Tanzania: “An HIV vaccine tested in Tanzania has shown positive results in preliminary trials and may provide better protection than a promising Thai vaccine unveiled on September 24, Swedish researchers said Monday.” (Read the full article here).

One of the reasons for the increased success (up to 50% protection vs. 30% in the Thailand study) is that this vaccine included more strains of the virus. The vaccine was tested in 60 healthy Tanzanian policemen. The results will be presented at an HIV/AIDS vaccine conference in Paris on Wednesday.

So much in the news lately about HIV vaccines, and now Tanzania has been involved as well. We’ll have to watch closely over the next few months to see if this trial moves to Phase III (a larger-scale investigation) or if anything substantial comes out of the Thailand trial.

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A reminder that fighting AIDS should not be the only fight…

A lot of the disease-fighting focus in Tanzania, and in Africa as a whole, is to HIV/AIDS. Many people see this as the overwhelming problem and forget that many people struggle against more basic, more preventable, more treatable diseases – such as cholera.

A cholera outbreak in northeastern Tanzania has resulted in 12 deaths and the closing of schools until November 1 (read more here).

Though AIDSTanzania is primarily focused on HIV/AIDS education and prevention, we have realized the need to broaden our vision. For example, we cannot teach someone about how to prevent contracting HIV when they are struggling with malaria or TB or cholera. Additionally, if someone has one of these diseases their immune system and body are already weakened, and research shows that they may contract HIV more easily while sick. We must start with a comprehensive (or holistic) approach to health and education.

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Truckers Leave AIDS Viral Loads in Namanga Border Town

This article tells a story that is a common narrative in Tanzania about how HIV is spread. This time, the story takes place in Namanga, a border town between Tanzania and Kenya, and the theory is that HIV infections are rising in the town due to heavy trucker traffic and the nomadic lifestyle of the border communities.

Namanga, at the border of Kenya and Tanzania

Namanga, at the border of Kenya and Tanzania

While in Tanzania, our own group heard similar stories about how commuting brings HIV back into the rural villages – men would go into Arusha to work and to seek entertainment, sometimes contract the HIV virus through sexual partners in the city, and then unknowingly bring HIV back to their family and community. This is why some statistics suggest the HIV infection rate growing in rural areas even as it stabilizes or decreases in cities.

This is a similar problem to Namanga’s border town HIV problem. Residents and officials of this area blame in sufficient health and medical facilities both for failing to stop the spread of the virus. The article also suggests that though reported HIV rates are low, the problem is critical – implying not only insufficient medical care, but insufficient testing and potentially a heavy stigma regarding HIV.

Truckers Leave Aids Viral Loads in Namanga Border Town

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