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New HIV Counseling and Testing Clinic Opens in Tanzania
On January 7, 2009, a Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) health center in Kigamboni officially opened as a Counseling and Testing Clinic (CTC) after undergoing renovations, which were coordinated by MHRP with PharmAccess International.
In the next year, Walter Reed Program-Tanzania plans to renovate more than ten TPDF health centers around the country.
One of the main goals of the TPDF program is to ensure that all men and women who serve in the Tanzanian army remain HIV-negative throughout their military career. The program includes training of peer educators and training in life-skills for all recruits.
Four mobile Voluntary Counseling and Test (VCT) services will soon be available in 25 camps along the border regions and lake zone of Tanzania. In 2008, more than 40,000 people were tested for HIV and more than 5,000 pregnant women were tested and counseled on prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
PEPFAR support for the TPDF includes HIV/AIDS prevention, Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT), counseling and testing, care and treatment, enhanced laboratory infrastructure, TB/HIV treatment, community support and policy development. This comprehensive approach serves the 35,000 Tanzanian servicemen and women, as well as thousands of civilians living near military facilities. As of December 2008, more than 5,000 military and civilian patients received anti-retroviral treatment from Tanzania People's Defense Forces' hospitals.
Edward Sekonde, Country Director of the Walter Reed Program at the U.S. Mission in Dar es Salaam, said, "Over 80 percent of the patients visiting military hospitals and health centers are civilians. The American-Tanzanian partnership plays a major role in improving this nation's health care system, benefiting both military and civilian populations in Tanzania."