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2005-10-07-Abbott, Tanzanian Government Open Outpatient Center and Clinical Lab as Part of HIV/AIDS Treatment Efforts
Abbott Laboratories' charitable organization, the Abbott Fund, and the Tanzanian government on Thursday opened a new, "state-of-the art" outpatient center and clinical laboratory at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam as part of a program to improve HIV/AIDS treatment in the country, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports (Chhatbar, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 10/6).
Since 2001, the Abbott Fund -- in partnership with the government and the health management company Axios -- has provided $35 million to modernize health care systems, expanded access to HIV testing and treatment and assisted orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Tanzania.
The new facilities at Muhimbili will improve care for up to 1,000 patients a day, according to the Abbot Fund. "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," Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa said during a ceremony with Abbott CEO Miles White (Abbott release, 10/6).
White said the Abbott Fund in the last four years has trained 1,300 health workers in HIV patient care, enhanced the voluntary testing program and improved facilities, systems and training at 82 hospitals, clinics and dispensaries throughout the country. According to Minister of Health Anna Abdallah, Tanzania has one doctor for every 24,000 patients, but she said the government plans to train 10,000 more doctors next year with funding from the Clinton Foundation and the Abbott Fund program. Tanzania has about two million people living with HIV (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 10/6).