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AFRO-NETS> Modernized Hospital Will Improve HIV/AIDS Care in Tanzania

Modernized Hospital Will Improve HIV/AIDS Care in Tanzania
Source: Abbott Laboratories
For the estimated two million Tanzanians living with HIV/AIDS, 
access to basic health services, counselling and treatment is 
nearly unattainable because of inadequate infrastructure and 
health care facilities, a shortage of specialized staff, and 
scarce resources. Today, at the International Conference on AIDS 
and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Africa, the Abbott 
Laboratories Fund, in collaboration with the Tanzanian govern-
ment, reported on their efforts to help respond to this chal-
Additionally, Abbott and the government of Tanzania announced a 
partnership, Tanzania Care, to modernize the country's public 
health care infrastructure and improve services and access to 
care for people living with HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses. 
Axios, an organization dedicated to improving health care in de-
veloping countries, is serving as the implementing partner for 
Tanzania Care by providing strategic counsel and working with the 
Tanzanian government, local contractors and organizations to 
oversee the program on a day-to-day basis.
Tanzania Care involves the renovation and modernization of the 
Muhimbili National Hospital, and the extension of HIV voluntary 
counselling and testing (VCT) services to the country's 21 re-
gional hospitals. One of the primary goals of the new program is 
to assist the national hospital in establishing itself as a "Cen-
ter of Excellence" and restoring its role as the country's pri-
mary research, referral and teaching facility. This multi-year, 
multi- million dollar initiative will include:
Creating a management structure, department organization, budget 
process, planning cycle and financial controls within the Muhim-
bili National Hospital; Increasing the capacity of Tanzania's 21 
regional hospitals to provide VCT services as well as prophylaxis 
and treatment of opportunistic infections; Building a new outpa-
tient clinic at the national hospital that includes an HIV day 
care center, teaching facilities, and counselling/psychosocial 
support facilities; Renovating and completely upgrading the na-
tional hospital's clinical laboratories; Training health care 
staff in HIV care and treatment; reviewing and updating the cur-
riculum for physician, nursing and other paramedical staff at the 
Muhimbili Medical College, which is affiliated with the national 
hospital; and Upgrading information technology, security, waste 
management and health information systems throughout the hospi-
tal. In 2003, Tanzania Care is initially focusing largely on mak-
ing structural/organizational improvements at Muhimbili National 
Hospital and increasing capacity for VCT services to five of the 
21 regional hospitals. In the years ahead, the program will en-
hance testing services at all 21 hospitals.
"The modernization of Muhimbili National Hospital is a vital ad-
vancement in Tanzania's fight against HIV/AIDS," said Ms. Anna M. 
Abdallah, Tanzania's Minister of Health. "We are in great need of 
support to strengthen our national health care system to help 
Tanzanians living with HIV/AIDS in the country's urban and rural 
areas. The government of Tanzania is committed to working within 
the government as well as with dedicated private sector partners, 
such as Abbott, to significantly enhance the quality and reach of 
our health care services."
Creating a "Center of Excellence" in Tanzania
Located in the capital city of Dar es Salaam, Muhimbili National 
Hospital is a 1,400-bed facility and the largest hospital in Tan-
zania. Serving four million people living in the Dar es Salaam 
region, the Muhimbili National Hospital is the main referral and 
teaching hospital, as well as the national reference laboratory 
for the country. The role of the national hospital as a reference 
hospital has decreased in recent years, because of a lack of re-
sources and funding. With the introduction of antiretroviral 
therapy in Tanzania, the national referral system will be further 
"Through Tanzania Care, Abbott Laboratories is committed to 
building sustainable health care infrastructure models to more 
effectively manage all aspects of HIV treatment, care and preven-
tion," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, 
Abbott Laboratories. "Public and private collaboration models 
that can positively address the needs of the current health care 
systems in developing countries will continue to be an essential 
tool in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic."
Axios will work with government officials, local contractors and 
national hospital staff to manage and execute the renovations 
through 2007. As part of the Tanzania Care program, Abbott Labo-
ratories is providing the time and talents of employee volun-
teers. These specialized volunteers are lending technical support 
in the areas of engineering, waste management, health care man-
agement and information technology.
"Modern facilities and the restoration of Muhimbili's role as the 
national research and referral facility will enable a more effi-
cient health care infrastructure and allow us to provide better, 
more advanced care for Tanzanians living with HIV/AIDS and other 
serious illnesses," said Dr. Edward Ngwalle, acting CEO of Muhim-
bili National Hospital. "Our goal is to become a Center of Excel-
lence for HIV care in the country and in the surrounding re-
Ongoing Efforts to Fight HIV/AIDS
Through its Global Care Initiatives, which include Tanzania Care, 
Step Forward, Abbott Access and the Determine(R) HIV Testing Do-
nation program, Abbott and the Abbott Laboratories Fund are work-
ing to fight HIV/AIDS in the developing world, where the pandemic 
has hit the hardest and where the need for assistance is great-
While Tanzania Care addresses the infrastructure issue directly, 
Abbott Access provides Abbott's rapid HIV test and protease in-
hibitors to people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world, 
at a loss to Abbott. Abbott's Determine(R) HIV Testing Donation 
Program is donating up to 20 million rapid HIV tests free of 
charge to qualified programs working to prevent mother-to- child 
transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. In addition, the Step Forward pro-
gram provides support to programs serving orphans and vulnerable 
children in Tanzania, Burkina Faso, India and Romania.
As a global corporation, Abbott Laboratories has the opportunity 
and responsibility to extend its core expertise, products, and 
people for the most positive impact in the world. The company 
continues to seek the right balance in meeting financial, envi-
ronmental and social responsibilities by continuing to contribute 
in meaningful ways toward solving global problems.
Abbott Laboratories is a broad-based health care company devoted 
to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of phar-
maceuticals, nutritionals, and medical products, including de-
vices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 70,000 peo-
ple and markets its products in more than 130 countries.
Additional information about the Tanzania Care program is avail-
able at:
Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the 
company Web site at:
Jennifer Smoter
Tel.: +1-847-935-8865, or 
Chris Bona
Tel.: +254-721-698-613
(For Nairobi calls only), both of Abbott Laboratories
Web site:
Dr Rana Jawad Asghar
Program Manager Child Survival, Mozambique
Provincial Coordinator Sofala Province, Mozambique
Health Alliance International, Seattle, WA, USA
Coordinator South Asian Public Health Forum

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