The HIV/AIDS pandemic can be counted among the top five obstacles to the development and social welfare of the people of developing countries. I consider it a threat to the survival of Sub-Sahara African countries including Tanzania.
Awareness of the threat which this disease poses has risen in the past ten years. Governments have responded to the challenge by the establishment of institutions to lead the fight against it. They have generally initiated campaigns on three fronts prevention, treatment and counselling.
In Tanzania the institutional framework is highlighted by the government constituted and led Tanzania Commission for Aids. It is conducting a spirited fight. But clearly the government alone cannot contain the spread, let alone conquer, this enemy. Quite rightly, it has recognized and encourages the role of NGOs, civil society and faith group initiatives.
As I prepared to leave the Office of the President in 2005, I decided to lend the weight of influence of my long public service record to the war against this pandemic. I joined ranks with President Bill Clinton. With this support and the funding by the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway, I set up the Benjamin William Mkapa HIV/AIDS Foundation.
Its first Programme is the Mkapa Fellows, that recruited 99 health professionals as Fellows and were posted to 33 rural and hard to reach districts. They have joined the frontline with calculated enhanced capacity, in terms of both knowledge and means, to be valorous and effective warriors. I sincerely thank the Clinton Foundation and the Norwegian Government for their generous and sustained support. I also thank the Tanzania Government which continues to render invaluable back-up cooperation.
I further acknowledge all other partners including Global to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; USAID, Intrahealth International, Abbott Fund and other corporate companies for joining hands with the Foundation in fighting against the HIV pandemic through health systems strengthening.
This website is another weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS and another tool in empowering Fellows and stakeholders that work with the Foundation in improving health service delivery and well being of Tanzanians. The website should serve as a platform to impart knowledge and innovation experience. Fellows nationally, and professionals internationally, have varied experiences according to their specific circumstances. I ask that they make use of the website to strengthen their arsenals against this pandemic. I encourage those who access the site to revisit it time and again. They are certain to encounter new knowledge about health systems strengthening that contributes into accelerating HIV prevention and caring of People Living with HIV/AIDS. The cumulative effect should see distinct improvement in public health and economic growth, which constitute the surest foundation of sustainable development.
Please click here to watch the interview with the Settler, His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa about the Foundation.
“Your contribution makes our work possible”
Donate by phone or by e-mail, or to the account below:
Telephone: Tel:+255 (22) 2600531/ +255 (22) 2600540/2
We will assist you with the process and answer any questions you may have about your contribution to our Foundation. Your contribution will enable smooth operation of the Mkapa HIV/AIDS Foundation activities at the sites to reach their clients easily.
We need your help today. Please send the most generous support you can afford to create a future of hope for the rural poor Tanzanians. The account to donate is shown below:
Account Name: Mkapa Fellows Program
Account Number: 0250008907
Bank Name: Bank M (Tanzania) Limited
Swift Code: BNKMTZTZ