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 Saturday 13 February 2010
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TANZANIA: Modernisation of labs to boost HIV/AIDS campaign

Photo: Anne Isabelle Leclercq/IRIN
The new labs are expected to improve HIV service delivery
DAR ES SALAAM, 30 July 2008 (PlusNews) - Tanzania is undertaking a US$10 million programme to modernise medical laboratories in regional hospitals to improve HIV/AIDS monitoring, Minister of Health David Mwakyusa has said.

The programme was launched on Monday 28 July in Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, and is being backed by the Abbott Fund, the philanthropic arm of Abbott Laboratories.

Mwakyusa said the government, in collaboration with Abbott Fund, would set up 22 modern laboratory facilities by the year 2010, and also planned to triple the number of people receiving free antiretroviral (ARV) drugs from 150,000 at present to 440,000 by 2010.

"The number will be increasing gradually to reach 250,000 by the end of this year, 350,000 in December 2009 and 450,000 by 2010," he said.

Abbott Fund president Catherine Babington said the programme would be vital to expanding health services delivery in the east African country.

In July 2007, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete launched a countrywide voluntary HIV testing campaign that aimed to reach 4,170,659 in a year.

The Minister of Finance and Economy, Mustafa Mkulo, announced in June that by the end of April 2008, the campaign had reached 4,211,727 people, or 101 percent of the target.

He said preliminary assessments showed that 194,149 people - 4.6 percent of those tested - were found to be infected with HIV, of whom 19.6 percent needed life-prolonging ARV medication.

An estimated two million of Tanzania's nearly 40 million people are HIV-positive.


Theme(s): (PLUSNEWS) Care/Treatment - PlusNews, (PLUSNEWS) HIV/AIDS (PlusNews)


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
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