Summary of Chargé d’Affaires Patterson’s Remarks at Launch Event for the #PEPFAR15 Campaign

Chargé d’Affaires Inmi Patterson
Chargé d’Affaires Inmi Patterson

Dar es Salaam
May 30 2018 (30 Mei 2018)

Before PEPFAR began, an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence in Tanzania and across southern and eastern Africa.  In the 1990s and early 2000s, few people got tested for HIV; and only about 1,500 people in Tanzania were able to access treatment.

Kabla ya kuanzishwa kwa PEPFAR, Mpango Wa dharura wa rais wa Marekani dhidi ya UKIMWI, ukipimwa na kubainika kuwa na virusi vya ukimwi ilikuwa ni kama adhabu ya kifo kwa Tanzania na nchi zingine kusini na mashariki ya Afrika. Katika miaka ya elfu moja mia tisa na tisini na mwanzoni mwa miaka ya elfu mbili, watu wachache sana walikuwa wanapimwa virusi vya Ukimwi na ni watu takriban elfu moja na mia tano pekee walioweza kupata matibabu ya kufubaza Virusi Vya Ukimwi (VVU).

Since 2003, PEPFAR has worked closely with the Government of Tanzania, health workers, NGOs, and civil society to help more and more Tanzanians get tested and begin lifesaving treatment.  Earlier this month, we announced that PEPFAR will spend more than 1 trillion TZS (512 million USD) to improve HIV prevention, testing, and treatment in Tanzania through September 2019.  This brings PEPFAR’s total contributions in Tanzania to over 10 trillion TZS (4.5 billion USD).

Toka mwaka Elfu mbili na tatu, PEPFAR imefanya kazi kwa karibu na Serikali ya Tanzania, wahudumu wa afya, mashirika yasiyo ya kiserikali na asasi za kiraia katika kuwasaidia Watanzania wengi zaidi na zaidi kupima afya zao na kuanza matibabu ya kuokoa maisha yao. Mwanzoni mwa mwezi huu tulitangaza kuwa hadi kufikia mwezi Septemba mwaka elfu mbili na kumi na tisa, PEPFAR itatumia zaidi ya Shilingi trilioni moja (Takriban, Dola za Kimarekani milioni mia tano kumi na mbili) kuboresha jitihada za kuzuia maambukizi ya VVU, upimaji na matibabu. Hii inafanya jumla ya mchango wote wa PEPFAR nchini Tanzania kuwa  zaidi ya Shilingi trilioni kumi (sawa na Dola za Kimarekani bilioni nne nukta tano)

Between 1990 and 2003, the year PEPFAR began, 871,000 Tanzanians died of AIDS-related causes.  It was a time of hopelessness.  It was a time of despair.  I’m sure many people in this room have families and villages affected by AIDS.  Indeed, the devastation of the disease posed the biggest health and security risks the country has faced since its independence.

Kati ya mwaka elfu moja mia tisa tisini na elfu mbili na tatu, mwaka ambao PEPFAR ilianzishwa, watanzania wapatao laki nane na sabini na moja elfu walikufa kwa magonjwa yatokanayo na ukimwi. Kilikuwa ni kipindi kisicho na matumaini. Kilikuwa ni kipindi cha kukata tamaa. Nina uhakika wengi wetu hapa kwenye familia zetu au kwenye vijiji vyetu tuna watu wengi ambao wameathiriwa na ugonjwa wa Ukimwi. Ukweli ni kuwa, tangu nchi hii ipate uhuru, UKIMWI ulileta athari kubwa sana kwa afya na usalama nchini.

The number of Tanzanians who have lost their lives due to AIDS per year has fallen by 70% since PEPFAR began, from 110,000 deaths in 2003 to 33,000 in 2016.

Idadi ya watanzania waliopoteza maisha yao kwa mwaka kutokana na Ukimwi imeshuka kwa asilimia sabini tokea PEPFAR ilipoanza, kutoka vifo laki moja na kumi elfu kwa mwaka elfu mbili na tatu mpaka elfu thelathini na tatu, kwa mwaka elfu mbili na kumi na sita.

This is the first time in modern history that we have the opportunity to control a disease without a vaccine or cure.  However, we are not there yet, and getting there will require concerted effort from all of us, including PEPFAR and its partners, the Government of Tanzania, civil society, and all Tanzanians.

Kwa mara ya kwanza katika historia ya zama za sasa tumepata fursa ya kudhibiti ugonjwa bila chanjo wala tiba. Lakini, bado hatujafika tunapotaka, na ili tufike pale, itahitajika jitihada  ya pamoja kutoka kwetu sote, ikiwemo PEPFAR na washirika wake, Serikali ya Tanzania, asasi za kiraia na watanzania wote kwa ujumla.

The results from the Tanzania HIV Impact Survey in December showed us that Tanzania has fallen behind other countries in the region.  Specifically, only about half of all people with HIV in Tanzania have been tested and know that they have HIV.  Tanzania’s neighbors such as Uganda, Malawi and Zambia have delivered much better results.

Mwezi Desemba Mwaka jana, Tulipata matokeo toka Tanzania HIV Impact Survey (Utafiti juu ya athari za UKIMWI Tanzania), ambao ni Utafiti uliofanywa juu ya Madhara ya Ukimwi Tanzania; Matokeo haya yali tuonesha kwamba Tanzania imeshuka tena ukilinganisha na nchi nyingine za Ukanda huu. Nusu tu ya waathirika wa virusi vya ukimwi wamepimwa na kujua kuwa wana virusi. Nchi za jirani kama Uganda, Malawi na Zambia zimetoa matokeo mazuri zaidi.

The U.S. Government currently provides more than 80% of all funding for HIV programs in Tanzania.  But here we are talking about Tanzanians’ health.  Surely, Tanzanians’ health must remain a top priority for the Tanzanian government, and so we call on the government to make the budget decisions that reflect a commitment to fighting deadly diseases, educating the public, and caring for the ill.

Kwa sasa, Serikali ya Marekani inatoa zaidi ya asilimia themanini ya gharama zote za programu za Ukimwi Tanzania. Lakini hapa tunazungumzia afya ya watanzania. Afya ya watanzania lazima ibaki kuwa suala la kipaumbele cha serikali ya Tanzania, hivyo, tunaiomba Serikali ya Tanzania kufanya maamuzi muhimu ya kufadhili bajeti yanayoonesha nia ya dhati ya kupambana na magonjwa haya yanayoua, kuelimisha jamii na kuwajali wagonjwa.

Our goals in this campaign are also to reduce stigma and discrimination around HIV.

Malengo yetu kwenye kampeni hii ni kupunguza unyanyapaa na kutengwa dhidi ya watu wenye Ukimwi.

During this campaign, we will work with you all and with people living with HIV across Tanzania to tell positive stories: stories of people living with HIV who were once weak and sick but who are now strong and healthy, stories of people who got tested early and began treatment before ever feeling sick, stories of HIV-positive people who have taken lifesaving medication to protect their spouses, stories of HIV-positive mothers who have taken lifesaving medication to protect their babies.

Katika kampeni hii, tutafanya kazi nanyi nyote, na watu wanaoishi na virusi vya Ukimwi Tanzania nzima  ili kueleza juu ya hadithi nzuri: hadithi za watu wanaoishi na virusi vya Ukimwi ambao hapo mwanzo walikuwa wadhaifu na wagonjwa na sasa wana nguvu na afya, hadithi za watu waliopima mapema na kuanza matibabu kabla ya kuanza kuumwa, hadithi za watu wenye virusi vya Ukimwi waliopata Tiba ya kuokoa maisha ili kuwalinda wenza wao, hadithi za kina mama wajaa wazito walioathirika waliopata tiba ya kuwalinda watoto wao wasipate ambukizo.

Getting tested is like taking off a blindfold.  It doesn’t change where one stands; it doesn’t change whether one has HIV or not.  But getting tested opens one’s eyes and is the first step towards avoiding needless death and stopping the spread of HIV to others.

Kupima ukimwi ni sawa na kujiondoa kitambaa kinachokuziba macho usione, ni kujiondolea upofu. Haibadilishi hali ya mtu. Haibadilishi kama una VVU au huna. Kupima kunafungua macho ya mtu na ni hatua ya kwanza ya kujikinga na kifo kisicho cha lazima na kuacha kueneza VVU kwa wengine.