A New York Times article on February 21, 2011 highlighted the ground-breaking launch in Tanzania of the first government-sponsored methadone program in sub-Saharan Africa.
The program is a collaboration between the Drug Control Commission of Tanzania (DCC), the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and Muhibimli University with funding provided the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and technical support from Pangaea.
On February 10, 2010 Tanzania became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to offer a medication assisted treatment ("MAT") program for injection drug users ("IDUs"). The first MAT clinic opened at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam yesterday and is already providing methadone to patients as part of a comprehensive drug and HIV prevention and treatment program that aims to head off an epidemic of HIV among injection drug users in Tanzania.
The MAT program is a collaboration between the Drug Control Commission of Tanzania (DCC), the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and Muhibimli University with funding provided the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and technical support from Pangaea.
Pangaea is concerned about the impact of recent misleading media reports that misrepresent the level of fraud at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Fraud is unacceptable – but it is the Global Fund itself that has identified, reported and addressed fraudulent activities as part of its own internal management procedures. The total amount of funds at issue is $34 million – in other words .03 percent of the $13 billion that the Global Fund has distributed so far – funds that have transformed the lives of people living with and affected by HIV, TB and malaria.
Pangaea is outraged by the brutal killing of Ugandan human rights defender David Kato, who dedicated his life to advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people in Uganda. Homophobia is unacceptable and has no place in today's global society. Rooting out all forms of stigma and discrimination is an essential first step to ending AIDS. We urge you to join us in calling on the Ugandan authorities to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of David's murder, and more broadly to protect the rights of all Ugandan citizens. Please help us spread the word.
From everyone at Pangaea, best wishes for 2011. This is going to be a decisive year in the global response to AIDS, as the effects of the economic crisis on AIDS budgets really hit. Last year’s Global Fund Replenishment was disappointing but hardly surprising – funding commitments for the next few years came in well below the Global Fund’s own lowest projections. It is a clear signal that a tough financial climate requires tough choices. Yet, as the latest figures released at the end of last year from UNAIDS and WHO show, new infections are declining. Ending AIDS is a long-term investment that is paying off – now is not the time to reduce this investment.
Pangaea believes that the most important priority for countries is to focus on delivering comprehensive HIV prevention, testing and treatment strategies for people most affected by and at risk of HIV – girls and women, men who have sex with men, and injection drug users. In 2011, we will deepen our technical co-operation with countries to develop, implement and evaluate such strategies.