HIV testing at Mwenge wa Uhuru in Ndungu, Same
The “Mwenge wa Uhuru” or “Freedom Torch” travels to all districts in Tanzania and to a good number of selected villages every year to open developmental projects. On September 21st, 2017, Same district warmly welcomed the torch. Thrive Afya Tanzania was invited by the Same District Commissioner, Ms. Rosemary Senyamule, to provide free HIV/AIDS services after seeing the huge contribution from TAT in Babati district.
In collaboration with the Same District Council, TAT conducted free and rapid HIV testing in a very remote mountainous village called “Ndungu,” which is located about 75 kms from Same Town. After a long drive on a dusty and bumpy road, the TAT team made it safely to Ndungu.
TAT provides free, confidential, and rapid HIV tests. The test results are available between 15-20 minutes after getting tested. Each person who gets tested enters a post counseling tent to receive his/her results, post counseling, free condoms and the return date for another testing in 3 months. In rural communities where TAT works, poor infrastructure and widespread extreme poverty limit access to free and rapid HIV testing and prevention services.
During the Mwenge celebrations, the TAT team split into two groups: teaching and testing. The teaching team emphasized the importance of getting tested and taught people about how transmission and prevention. People lined up to get tested all day and all night before the torch left Ndungu to head to Tanga region. It was exciting for TAT to see different age groups lining up to know their HIV status. The event was a success with a total of 380 people tested!