[ACNS sources: CAPA and EEB] The Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) last month held its four-year Health and HIV/AIDS Strategic planning in Dar es Salaam. A five-day workshop developed plans in partnership with USAID, Futures Group, Christian Aid (UK) and Churches in the Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA).
The church has been actively involved in HIV/AIDS care and prevention, but intends to scale up its activities. Provincial HIV/AIDS Co-ordinator, Mrs Neema Majule, expressed satisfaction with the planning process saying what was left was implementation, some of which was already going on.
ACT runs 12 hospitals and over 40 dispensaries and clinics all over Tanzania. The church is also engaged in health, consumers’ rights, advocacy, malaria control, maternal health care and youth reproductive health programmes. Recently, the church in partnership with the Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) launched a youth HIV/AIDS education campaign known as Kivuko (stepping-stone) which has attracted the participation of many young people.
The strategic planning was attended by representatives of all the 19 dioceses and the provincial co-ordinating team. Dean of the Province, Bishop Philip Baji, closed the workshop with a call for intensified action against HIV/AIDS and other diseases affecting the people.
The Eglise Episcopale du Burundi (EEB) is also planning strategically to make an appropriate response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. “It is important to influence leaders but also to make an impact at grass roots where the silence about AIDS and sexuality needs to be broken,” an Anglican source said. “Workshops have already taken place in prisons, schools, military camps, and in camps for displaced people.
“Emphasis is placed on training trainers, for example, pastors and their wives so that they are able to teach others and minister effectively in their parishes. Chaplains in schools are also assisted so that they can organise regular teaching on HIV/AIDS in order to reduce the sexual behaviour that causes risk.