Abbott (ticker: ABT, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
Nationwide Strengthening of Hospital System in Tanzania Marks New Era in Fight Against AIDS in Africa
- The Abbott Fund and the Government of Tanzania Dedicate New Hospital
Facilities to Meet Long-Term Needs of Patients with HIV/AIDS and Other
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- In a ceremony today,
Abbott CEO Miles White joined Tanzanian President Benjamin William Mkapa in
dedicating a new state-of-the-art outpatient treatment center and clinical
laboratories at Muhimbili National Hospital. The new facilities will
dramatically improve the care of people with HIV/AIDS and other chronic
diseases, benefiting up to 1,000 patients a day. The event marks a key
milestone for the nationwide Abbott Fund initiative, one of the most
comprehensive efforts in Africa to strengthen a country's health care system
to meet the lifelong treatment needs of people living with HIV.
"The dedication of these new hospital buildings symbolizes the sweeping
changes that we are implementing throughout the country's health care system
to address the AIDS epidemic and will further our goal of expanding the
national treatment program to reach more Tanzanians living with HIV," said
President Mkapa. "Through our successful partnership with the Abbott Fund, we
are providing Tanzanian health professionals with resources and tools to more
effectively manage our health care system."
The U.S. $35 million Abbott Fund initiative is focused primarily on
improving Tanzania's health system to provide quality, lifelong care for
patients with HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Centered at Muhimbili Hospital,
work also is underway at 82 additional hospitals and rural health centers
across the country. Key areas of focus include modernizing facilities,
training staff, improving hospital and patient management, and expanding
capacity for testing and treatment. The Abbott Fund initiative is part of a
unique public-private partnership with the Government of Tanzania. Axios, an
organization specializing in health management in developing countries, is
serving as the implementing partner for the initiative.
"With President Mkapa's leadership, our partnership has enabled doctors
and nurses in Tanzania to significantly enhance patient care," said Mr. White.
"By modernizing the facilities, improving hospital management, and training
staff, we are fundamentally expanding the country's capacity to provide
quality testing and treatment of HIV and other lifelong diseases. We hope
this partnership provides a model for other countries and donors to follow in
addressing the tremendous challenge of AIDS in Africa."
During the visit, President Mkapa and Mr. White heard from hospital
administrators, physicians and patients about the nationwide improvements
achieved through the Abbott Fund initiative, including:
-- Training more than 1,300 physicians, nurses and other health
professionals in HIV patient care, including testing, counseling and
treatment. These physicians now share their knowledge with others; for
example, at Muhimbili Hospital, 200 of these health professionals serve
as trainers for other physicians and staff;
-- Expanding voluntary HIV counseling and testing (VCT) to more than
65,000 Tanzanians, including providing VCT for the first time in some
-- Improving the quality of care for patients with the opening of the new
three-story outpatient treatment center at Muhimbili Hospital. HIV
patients will now be treated in the same setting as other patients
rather than in a separate facility, reducing stigma associated with
-- Renovating and equipping the laboratory facilities at Muhimbili
Hospital with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, providing
accurate, automated testing crucial for handling the long-term care and
monitoring of HIV, hepatitis and other chronic diseases;
-- Implementing sweeping changes in hospital management and "back office"
functions that are critical for quality care and sustainable
operations. For example, one of the most extensive hospital
information and technology systems in East Africa was installed at
Muhimbili Hospital, and more than 1,000 staff were trained to use the
computerized system to track information that supports patient care;
-- Increasing hospital-generated revenue by more than 56 percent in two
-- Assisting five hospitals (Arusha, Mara, Mwanza and Tabora regional
hospitals and Tukuyu district hospital) in achieving accreditation as
national HIV treatment centers, allowing sites to provide
antiretroviral treatment to patients through a variety of sources
including PEPFAR and the Global Fund;
-- Upgrading facilities, systems and training at 82 sites throughout the
country to improve VCT services and prepare for availability of
antiretroviral treatment programs, including building new testing and
counseling rooms to ensure patient privacy, renovating outpatient
clinics and laboratories, donating laboratory equipment and rapid
tests, and creating local hospital HIV management teams; and
-- Improving infection control in the Kibong'oto National Tuberculosis
Hospital by improving sanitation and infectious waste disposal.
"These new facilities and systems have already had a tremendous positive
impact on patients -- from the moment people walk in for confidential HIV
testing and counseling, to the time they leave the pharmacy with their
medication. The new facilities also have decreased the stigma of AIDS;
patients are more willing to come forward for testing and treatment," said Dr.
Ferdinand Magusi, senior lecturer in internal medicine at Muhimbili Hospital.
"We also have seen the positive effect the improvements have had on staff.
Now my colleagues feel like they have the tools and setting to provide quality
care for patients."
"Through shared expertise, resources and commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS,
the Tanzanian government's partnership with the Abbott Fund is making a
significant difference in improving the lives of patients," said Hon. Anna M.
Abdallah, Tanzania's Minister of Health.
Tanzania's Aggressive Fight Against AIDS
Tanzania has taken an active role in addressing the AIDS crisis since
2000, when President Mkapa declared HIV/AIDS a national disaster, leading to
the establishment of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS). In 2003,
Tanzania's cabinet endorsed the National Care and Treatment Plan and
established an antiretroviral treatment program in October 2004. The
government also has made a significant commitment to expanding education and
prevention programs and to addressing the social impact of the HIV/AIDS
About Abbott and the Abbott Fund
Abbott and the Abbott Fund are investing $100 million over five years to
address HIV/AIDS in Africa and throughout the developing world. A significant
part of this commitment is in Tanzania. Since 2001, the Abbott Fund has
invested U.S. $35 million to modernize health care systems, expand access to
HIV testing and treatment, and assist orphans and vulnerable children impacted
by HIV/AIDS in Tanzania.
Abbott (NYSE: ABT) is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to
the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and
medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. Abbott
employs more than 60,000 people and markets its products in more than 130
Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the
company's Web site at http://www.abbott.com .
/CONTACT: Julie Ferguson of Abbott, +1-847-936-6116; or Media in Tanzania,
Louisa Muir, +255 (0) 22 2667109/
/Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/121546.html/
/Web site: http://www.abbott.com /
CO: Abbott; Abbott Fund; Government of Tanzania
ST: Africa, Illinois
IN: MTC HEA
-- CGTH009 --
8382 10/06/2005 04:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com