Tunisia has made significant progress in its fight against HIV but the results still fall well short of the stated ambitions and objectives of national plans. The country is known to have a strong national policy and program with high levels of coverage for PMTCT, testing and treatment. However, recent data shows that the epidemic is progressing dangerously with an increase in new infections and the number of deaths concentrated mainly in Greater Tunis and coastal areas.
To achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets and overcome the current limitations in the national response, the Tunisian stakeholders must remove certain obstacles and develop effective strategies to achieve higher and more equitable coverage. The pressures on the country are only multiplying as donor funding dwindles and the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt economic growth. Despite the complex and constrained health, economic and social contexts, the Tunisian government will have to assume increasing shares of the total cost of the national response.
In this context, the Ministry of Health, with assistance from UNAIDS and the Global Fund, worked with Pharos to achieve the following objectives:
This transition preparation plan comes at a critical time for Tunisia and the national response to HIV. The Pharos team has identified the major advances and shortcomings that are slowing down the deployment and achievement of the national objectives. The major issues identified include institutional governance, the quality of data for monitoring and evaluation, and the available financing for key populations by civil society organizations.
The new national strategic plan and upcoming grant from the Global Fund show a very promising path and provide the means for accelerating the response and catching up with delays. The grant could multiply its impact on the national response if this transition preparation plan is heeded and followed.
Team Members Involved: Robert Hecht and Miloud Kaddar
For more information, contact Robert Hecht at [email protected].