In Tanzania, EGPAF Expands Critical Services to Rural Areas
By Anna Sawaki | May 14, 2014
In Tanzania, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) recently expanded its services to support more than 40 new HIV care and treatment sites throughout the Tabora and Lindi regions.
For the thousands of people living with HIV in these regions, the new facilities will provide critical access to comprehensive HIV care and treatment services and a dedicated and trained cadre of health professionals. Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, local health centers and dispensaries serve an integral role in preventing and treating HIV because they provide services to people in rural regions, who oftentimes live hundreds of kilometers from the nearest cities and towns.
“We feel proud that EGPAF, together with the council health management teams, has been able to help the community access good and quality comprehensive care and treatment services at the nearby sites,” said Juma Songoro, M.D., who serves as EGPAF’s care and treatment manager for Tanzania.
Each facility will now have a dedicated clinician, an antiretroviral therapy (ART) nurse, and a counselor. EGPAF trained more than 140 health workers on topics such as basic HIV care and treatment, record keeping, quality control, CD4 testing, and best practices for transporting test samples. As a result, each of the 49 new facilities has received accreditation from the National AIDS Control Program (NACP).
Access continues to be a critical barrier to HIV care, treatment, and prevention. These newly accredited facilities will ensure that Tanzanians living with HIV are able to receive the best treatment options available, from a knowledgeable and skilled staff, no matter where they live.
Anna Sawaki is EGPAF’s communications and outreach officer, based in Tanzania.