Redeployment: Opportunities to Control HIV and TB in Tanzania, released by the IDSA Education and Research Foundation Center for Global Health Policy, combines observations from a visit by Center staff to three highly challenged public health settings in a southern African country with data that illustrate successes as well as gaps in responses to two deadly infectious diseases.
The report provides examples of the tremendous gains against HIV and TB that more than a decade of investment in evidence-based programs has brought, yielding meaningful lasting benefits to individuals, families, communities and public health responses.
The report comes at a time when U.S. and international global AIDS response leaders have cited a need to assess realities on the ground and allocate resources for maximum impact.
Importantly, the report highlights gaps and challenges that remain, and that underscore the need for ongoing and effective investments, to ensure that progress becomes sustainable, and reaches all of those whose circumstances make them most vulnerable to diseases that we know are both preventable and curable.
The report emphasizes:
- The vital but under-resourced role of local civil society organizations that use knowledge of local populations and issues to reach criminalized populations, migrants and others who would not otherwise be reached with tuberculosis screening, diagnosis, and treatment, and linkage to HIV testing and care;
- Continued weaknesses in Tanzania's health system that include a grave shortage of trained providers and facilities, and that lead to gaps in diagnosis and care;
- Failures to reach populations on whom tuberculosis and HIV have had their greatest impacts, and yet who continue to have the least access to services, including children, adolescents, and people who inject drugs;
- The need for U.S. funders to ensure that they are informed of realities on the ground when allocating resources in the face of increasing need and dwindling supply;
- The need to recognize that the work to control HIV and TB in low-resource, high impact settings where the diseases continue to take a toll is not over and will require long-term committed partnerships between donors and local governments.
We urge those invested in and interested in the impact of U.S. investments against the global pandemics of HIV and TB to read this timely report from the field.