The National Conference on Consolidation of Efforts of Organizations and Community Activists in Reducing HIV Prevalence in Tajikistan

posted in: Latest News | 0

27-28 December 2017, a two-day national conference to discuss consolidation of efforts of organizations and communities in reducing HIV prevalence in Tajikistan was conducted in Dushanbe. The event took place through the initiative of the civil society organization (CSO) «Spin Plus» and  with the technical support of the UNDP HIV Program supported by the GF, The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the CSO “Human Rights Center”.

The main objectives of the event were focused around consolidation of all efforts of the international community and the state sector in response to the epidemic; cooperation of civil society organizations (CSO) and communities with the state organizations on the issues related to provision of quality services; as well as HIV program financing.

Around 60 representatives from: Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of Parliament), Ministry of Finance of Tajikistan, Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan, international and CSO organizations, community initiatives took part in the conference.

Mr. Zayniddin Safarov, Deputy Chairman of the Lower Chamber of Parliament of the Republic of Tajikistan on rule of law, defense and security, in his opening statement mentioned that “Today our main goal is to take actions in order to help the key population groups in Tajikistan. Public organizations are committed to protecting public health. These organizations work with vulnerable groups to involve them in prevention, care, and treatment. We see that hundreds of lives saved due to the dedication,   consulting, and the support provided to communities and key population groups. It is very inspiring to see the progressing cooperation we are having with the Ministry of Health and SP, as well as our development partners.”

During the introductory session, Dr. Saifuddin Karimov, Director of the Republican Centre on the Prevention of HIV and AIDS stated “for the last four years, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Ministry of Finance has attempted to increase financing of HIV program. Specifically, state financing of the HIV program has increased from 15 to 30% during the last two years. In 2018 we are expecting the allocation of more than 1,200,000 somoni by the Government for purchasing the rapid HIV tests. However, there are some problems that negatively impact successful implementation of the National Program. Particularly, low funding support of the sector by the Local Governments, namely for the purchase of rapid-tests for pregnant women and general population; Lack of coordination between partners and communities in the implementation of preventive measures among key population groups;  Lack of awareness-raising campaigns in Mass Media, including information sharing by Community Organizations with the Governmental Agencies for prevention of HIV.”

 Mr. Pulod JamolovDirector of CSO “Spin Plus” has mentioned “Patients need their daily medicine. They want to live a full life. Interruption of the treatment for PLHIV can mean a death sentence. Another most important point is sustainability of the programs, sustainability of program activities and sustainability of partners. When we talk about sustainability, we mean financing, financing from the state, donors and other sources. When we undertake the ambitious goals and claim the responsibility for the fulfillment of these goals, we have to have the resources. Today, important issues have been touched and we are glad that the representatives of the Parliament of Tajikistan are also here with us today, so that they are aware of the problems, which vulnerable groups face.”

Mr. Firdavs Sheraliev, Prevention Coordinator of the HIV project of UNDP emphasized that in new Global Fund Grant for 2018-2020 there is a significant reduction of resources, which is more than 40%, compared to the prior period. The main beneficiaries of the project will be only key populations and patients with co-infections.

UNDP invited all participants to actively engage in the process of discussions and advocate the implementation of mechanisms for the replenishment of the National Fund and one of the key outcomes of the national conference was the development of the draft Resolution derived from the presentations, discussions, proposals, and observations of the participants. The document claims that the mechanisms for the financing from the local budgets need to be developed. Also, the current tool in terms of National AIDS Foundation and Fund replenishment mechanisms has to be worked out.  The draft Resolution will be provided to national and international partners for their review and action.

 For more information, please contact: Mr. Bakhtiyor Mirzoev, Advocacy Officer, UNDP in Tajikistan- bakhtiyor.mirzoev@undp.org   or Mr. Firdavs Sheraliev Senior Prevention and scale up HIV and AIDS Programme Coordinator, UNDP- firdavs.sheraliev@undp.org.