Ministry, Partners, and CDC Funders Celebrate the Many Accomplishments of PEPFAR-supported Project to Train Community-based Volunteers

Washington, DC, January 9, 2017 – Amidst a bittersweet kaleidoscope of color and sound, AIHA recently celebrated the graduation of a decade-long twinning partnership that spearheaded the development of a community-based cadre of Para Social Workers (PSW) in Tanzania and helped strengthen social work education and practice in the East African nation inhabited by some 52.5 million people.
With support from AIHA and technical assistance from Jane Addams College of Social Work and the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center (MATEC) at the University of Illinois – Chicago, our partners at the Tanzania Department of Social Welfare and the Institute of Social Work (ISW) in Dar es Salaam ably led the implementation of this initiative designed to improve access to much-needed community-level psychosocial support services for orphans and vulnerable children, as well as other vulnerable populations, across Tanzania.
Key accomplishments of this project include:

  • Training 2,747 fully certified PSWs, 743 PSW supervisors, and 103 master trainers in collaboration with the Tanzania Human Resource Capacity Project.
  • Training another 4,790 individuals, who completed the PSW Level 1 course.
  • Strengthening ISW’s capacity to lead all related technical assistance and quality control efforts for implementation of the PSW training.
  • Updating the PSW curriculum in 2016, including enhanced HIV/AIDS competencies to support global 90-90-90 targets and an expanded focus on linkages and referrals to HIV counseling and testing services.
  • Supporting the June 2012 launch of the Tanzania Social Welfare Assistant Program, a year-long certificate program that prepares PSWs or others with similar backgrounds for employment in ward-level social welfare positions.
  • Strengthening the social work profession in Tanzania through support for the Tanzania Association of Social Workers (TASWO) and supporting the establishment of a National Social Work Council to regulate the profession.
  • Conducting a baseline assessment to determine how social welfare cadres can effectively meet national indicators for social welfare services and HIV/AIDS care and treatment services in 18 PEPFAR priority districts across six zones in support of Tanzania’s new task sharing policy.
  • Supporting the Tanzania Emerging Schools of Social Work Program (TESWEP) to strengthen the country’s capacity to provide quality social work education at 14 schools of social work throughout Tanzania by standardizing curricula and providing a broad range of faculty support, training, and development activities.
  • Registering TESWEP as an autonomous organization called the Association of Schools of Social Work in Tanzania, which is dedicated to becoming the nation’s leader in supporting social work education and educators.

This partnership was supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Tanzania. It was implemented through AIHA’s HIV/AIDS Twinning Center Program, which is funded by a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Since 1992, AIHA has been working with host country governments, donors, and other key national and international stakeholders to address critical public health issues such as HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, maternal and child health, primary healthcare, emergency medicine, and a broad range of health professions education and development. Our comprehensive, multi-pillar approach to health system strengthening has enabled AIHA to achieve sustainable outcomes through more than 175 partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean.