UG Shs 700m Equipment Delivered to Increase Quality HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment in South West Uganda

August 9, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Nkiinzi Sanyu, EGPAF Uganda, +256 772 222392

August 9, 2011, Mbarara, Uganda — The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has given out medical equipment worth over Ug-shs700 million to health centers in 13 districts of South West Uganda.

The equipment, which includes maternal delivery sets, gynecological tools, microscopes and circumcision kits for safe medical male circumcision, is expected to increase capacity of health facilities to offer safe maternity services and enhance cervical cancer screening in the rural populace of the south west region.

“We hope this will go a long way to reducing the maternal deaths and morbidity in Uganda,” Dr. Edward Bitarakwate, EGPAF’s Country Director in Uganda, said while handing over the equipment to the 13 Chief Administrative and District Health Officers.

Other equipment which are also part of the program include CD4 machines which are used to measure the strength of a person’s immune system and are critical to determine when people living with HIV should begin antiretroviral therapy, particularly pregnant HIV-positive women.

“By setting up CD4 testing centers in each of the south west region’s districts, we hope more people will access quality HIV care and treatment as distances to health facilities are dramatically reduced,” Dr. Bitarakwate said.

The program is part of the five–year, $38 million USAID cooperative agreement which was awarded to EGPAF in 2010 to provide integrated tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS services in the south west region of Uganda through a program called Strengthening TB and HIV/AIDS Response (STAR–SW).

South West Uganda was identified as having one of the highest unmet needs for TB and HIV/AIDS services in Uganda.

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About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation:
The Foundation is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV and AIDS, and has reached more than 12.2 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently works at more than 5,500 sites in 17 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute strategic and targeted global advocacy activities in order to bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide.