Dodoma: Yesterday, Minister of State for the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), the Honorable Suleiman Jafo, launched a new initiative to distribute improved Community Health Fund (iCHF)/improved Tiba kwa Kadi (iTIKA) cards to vulnerable households. To reach these households, PO-RALG has partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through their Kizazi Kipya (“New Generation”) project, which supports orphans and vulnerable children.
iCHF/iTIKA health insurance cards cover the costs of general health services, including child health services. The USAID Kizazi Kipya project has subsidized the first year of premiums worth a total of 4.7 billion Tanzanian shillings ($2 million USD). To ensure that these vulnerable populations can pay for the modest premiums in subsequent years, USAID Kizazi Kipya helps these households increase their income by supporting them to set up small businesses and engage with savings and lending groups.
USAID Kizazi Kipya will use its existing networks to provide iCHF/iTIKA cards to nearly 93,000 vulnerable households with a total reach of over 360,000 people. The supported households come from 85 councils across 25 regions in Tanzania. Primary beneficiaries from this service include those with children living with HIV, child-headed households, households with elderly and chronically ill caregivers, and extremely poor households unable to meet the basic needs of their families.
In his remarks, the Minister extended his gratitude to the United States Government through PEPFAR/USAID for this support and promised that the Government of Tanzania will continue to work hand-in-hand with partners to ensure marginalized groups access quality health services where and when they need it most.
Commenting on the event, the USAID Mission Director, Andy Karas, urged the Government of Tanzania to continue investing in the health sector to improve health services for marginalized populations. “Investing in healthcare is a strategic decision to promoting inclusive economic growth. When people have access to quality healthcare and education, they live healthier and more productive lives.” he said. The Mission Director also commented on PEPFAR’s collaboration with Tanzania in their efforts to achieve HIV epidemic control. “For total HIV epidemic control, we will continue to strengthen our partnerships with the Government of Tanzania and civil society to advance sustainable, local solutions to ensure that the most vulnerable Tanzanians can access quality healthcare.”