USAID joins forces to combat HIV/AIDS in Tanzania

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - Tanzania has acquired expanded resources to help fight HIV/AIDS, with the opening of a new paediatric Centre of Excellence through a public-private partnership involving the government, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other American institutions.

Through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), USAID has joined forces with Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative (BIPAI), and the government of Tanzania to set up the paediatric centre in the Lake Victoria port city of Mwanza, to serve children and families in the surrounding regions; providing much-needed access for a population of almost 9 million people.

"This Paediatric Centre of Excellence represents an investment in sustainable development and another critical step in fulfilling the vision of the US and Tanzanian Partnership Framework for a coordinated HIV/AIDS response; providing health services today while building enduring health systems for tomorrow,"  US Ambassador Alfonso Lenhardt SAID at the opening of the centre.

Located on the grounds of Bugando Medical Centre, a 900-bed tertiary referral hospital, the newly-expanded facility will enable healthcare workers to care for an increased amount of children and their families, and train current and future HIV/AIDS care providers.

Additionally, the centre is expected to care for at least 5,000 HIV-infected and affected children and their families by 2013.

In collaboration with the government of Tanzania, the centre will partner with Bugando Medical College and Bugando Medical Centre's medical school to expand their programmes in paediatric global health and support curriculum development, mentoring and paediatric residency rotations.

"The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and BIPAI share a common goal of improving the care and treatment of communities affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa, working together with local governments,” said John Damonti, president of Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.

“ This new centre builds on our longstanding strategy of forging public-private partnerships to effect lasting change at the community level, for the benefit of HIV-infected and -affected children and their families," he added.

The Mwanza centre will join BIPAI’s existing network of Children’s Clinical Centres of Excellence throughout Eastern and Sub-Saharan Africa.        

“Ultimately, this will establish a network of pediatric HIV/AIDS care and treatment across all three countries (Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda) bordering Lake Victoria, a region with the highest HIV prevalence in East Africa,” said Michael Mizwa, BIPAI chief operating officer and senior vice president.        
-0- PANA AR/SEG 8Feb2011

08 february 2011 13:25:43




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