By Our Reporter
The GOVERNMENT has advised PLHIV to join health insurance through their groups to ease services provision especially when they face challenges of opportunistic diseases /infections.
The advice statement was given by the chairperson of the Commission for AIDS Control (TACAIDS), Dr. Fatma Mrisho when speaking to people living with HIV at the opening ceremony of the General Assembly Meeting of the Council of People Living with HIV held this year.
She said that if people living with HIV join health insurance, they will be able to get treatment; hence, there will be no problem of getting drugs that are normally sold to them, particularly drugs for opportunistic diseases/infections.
"This will help you a lot because we, in the government, have shortage of resources, and as you know ARVs provided by the government, are not free as people normally say, one patient for one year spends three to five hundred thousand dollars" said Dr. Fatma.
She also urged them to continue to look for resources since the government has been facing hard time to explain why people living with HIV are given priority compared to people with other diseases such as diabetes and cancer. However, she said the government does not seem to be bias since there is a high rate of new infections of more than seventy thousand per year.
Furthermore, the former Chairman of NACOPHA, Mr. Vitalis Makayula said the Council has become an effective tool to change due to participation and involvement of PLHIV in various issues pertaining to AIDS.
In his intervention, the representative from the United Nations (UN) Dr. Yeronimo Mlawa, said despite actual achievements, there are still challenges especially in 2015 where discussion for setting new objectives of the millennium development begins while people believe the problem is over.
"The problem still exists, we should make sure that we maintain our achievements and move forward" said Dr. Mlawa.
The Representative of the guest of honor, The Regional Administrative Secretary of Dodoma said since AIDS was declared as a national disaster in the country in 2001, the Government through its concerned organs such as the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the National AIDS Programmed and the National Commission for AIDS, has been at the forefront in designing and leading the effort of stakeholders in the fight against AIDS.
These efforts, she said, include ensuring that accurate and appropriate services are available to reach the target people in a simple and friendly environment.
"We are all aware that it is within these efforts that was created national organ of people living with AIDS, for the purpose of joining efforts and the voice of people living with HIV in order to be a catalyst for implementation of policy change and programs aimed at responding appropriately to the problem of AIDS in the country" he said.
During the meeting, the election was also held that provided the council with new leaders for another term of three years.