Statement by the UN Resident Coordinator, Zlatan Milišić Launch of the Global Alliance to End AIDS among children, Dar es Salaam, 1 February
01 Februari 2023
12 Countries launched the Global Alliance to end AIDS in children by 2030. A pre-ministerial conference adopted the Dar es Salaam Declaration. @UnitedNationsTZ
The United Nations system in Tanzania is working in strong collaboration with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A coherent plan of action that enables a coordinated UN response has been outlined through the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Tanzania, 2022-2027.
One of the four outcome results of the UNSDCF is that by 2027, the people of Tanzania and especially the most vulnerable, increasingly utilize quality, gender transformative, inclusive, and integrated basic education, health, nutrition, protection and other social services. Under health, a particular focus is given to mother, newborn, child and adolescent health and HIV. Social protection systems and services are being strengthened for expanded and improved coverage of the most vulnerable, including women, children and youth.
In this regard, we consider the aims of the Global Alliance to End AIDS among children as a timely strategic initiative that the UN agencies (UNAIDS, UNICEF and WHO, in particular) are promoting, in collaboration with governments of 12 countries in Africa, and other partners. The UN in Tanzania will continue to provide the necessary technical and other support to ensure that more effective, efficient, innovative approaches are applied to achieve the targets of eliminating mother to child transmission to below 5% and of increasing antiretroviral treatment coverage to 95% by 2025.
Although Tanzania has done a commendable job of rolling out antiretroviral drugs over the years, there is a disparity between the percent of adults who are now receiving ART (87%) compared to children (60%). In addition, there is an estimated 11% mother to child HIV transmission rate including breastfeeding period (while the target is less than 5%, by 2025). Women face a disproportionate HIV burden and the disparity is most pronounced among adolescent girls and young women, 15-24 years old. They are 2-3 times more affected than their male counterparts.
These statistics justify the need for renewed efforts by all stakeholders (e.g. government, development partners, civil society, private sector) to achieve the desired goals of elimination of mother-to-child transmission and realizing equitable coverage of ART, including children. This will not happen, however, without addressing the key factors that cause the vulnerability of children and women to HIV. Women face gender related disparities that largely stem from socio-economic gender inequalities, harmful gender practices, including gender-based violence.
We recognize the Government’s commitment to swiftly adopt evidence-based policies and best practices to ensure people living with HIV have access to HIV testing and the best drugs for treatment, and that they adhere to treatment, and stay in care. But, there is still a long way to go to achieve the SDG target of ending AIDS by 2030.
We are confident that the country action planning for the Global Alliance that has been taking place over the last few months has charted transformative strategies to enable countries to achieve the target of ending AIDS among children by 2030. We call on all stakeholders to embrace and resource these plans.