Tanzanian Government To Increase Spending To Allow for Provision of Antiretroviral Drugs
The Tanzanian government on Thursday said it will increase spending by 24.7% in the upcoming fiscal year to allow it to distribute antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive people at no cost, implement poverty-reduction programs and pay for an election, Reuters reports (Nyambura, Reuters, 6/2). The Tanzanian government earlier this year announced that it plans to increase the number of HIV-positive people receiving antiretroviral drugs at no cost from about 4,000 to 44,000. In August 2004, the Tanzanian government released $1.8 million to the country's Ministry of Health to purchase antiretroviral drugs for distribution to HIV/AIDS patients under its four-year treatment program. According to U.N. statistics, between 12% and 15% of adults in Tanzania are HIV-positive and 200,000 of them need antiretroviral therapy (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/18). The government said it hopes continued economic growth will help pay for the increases in spending, according to Reuters. Tanzania's economy has grown in the past 10 years after the government implemented "belt-tightening" reforms and secured approximately $3 billion in debt relief, according to Reuters. The World Bank has praised Tanzania for its reforms and economic growth but warned the country to avoid long-term dependency on foreign aid (Reuters, 6/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.