Public-Private Partnership for Health Care in Tanzania

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Modernizing Regional-Level Labs in Tanzania

Over the years, assessments of Tanzania's health care system identified laboratory services as one of the weakest links in providing quality patient care, especially for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes and HIV. Most public health laboratories were understaffed, and physical infrastructure and equipment were in a state of disrepair – leaving a critical gap in patient care.

Modernizing Regional-Level Labs in Tanzania

In 2007, the Abbott Fund committed $10 million to modernize all 23 regional-level laboratories in Tanzania over three years.

Modernizing Regional-Level Labs in Tanzania

The partnership built or renovated the laboratories to a standard design that focused on increasing efficiency and safety. It also supplied equipment, prioritized preventative maintenance and quality assurance strategies and provided on-site mentorship to laboratory staff.

Modernizing Regional-Level Labs in Tanzania

The nationwide lab modernization project was completed on time (within three years) and on budget and is now increasing the capacity and improving the quality of Tanzania’s 23 regional-level laboratories. These labs support 121 district laboratories that provide services to more than 200 care and treatment centers – effectively upgrading testing and diagnostics capabilities across the country.

Modernizing Regional-Level Labs in Tanzania

Results from the modernization of the first lab showed dramatic improvements, including increasing the number of tests from an average of 15,000 to 134,000 per year and reducing the turnaround time from an average of 3-14 days to less than 24 hours. The number of patients utilizing the laboratory facilities rose from an average of 5,000 to 38,000 per year, indicating improved patient confidence and convenience. The modern working environment also has boosted staff morale and productivity.

Modernizing Regional-Level Labs in Tanzania

Expert Abbott employee volunteers also serve as mentors for the laboratory staff, helping to address staffing issues, improve workflow, create and implement standard procedures and ensure lab quality assurance, as well as improve lab perception by doctors and hospital staff, market lab services and lay the foundation for accreditation.

Modernizing Regional-Level Labs in Tanzania

Abbott mentors maintain ongoing contact with host labs, providing both on-site support and troubleshooting advice remotely. Exposure to international experts has improved staff buy-in and provided long-term support. In addition, all of the mentors agreed that the experience and the technical exchange of information were priceless, providing growth for both the mentors and for their new friends from Tanzania.

Modernizing Regional-Level Labs in Tanzania

RESULTS
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   at AWS.Imaging.ImageResizer.ResizeAndSaveImage(String imagePath, String resizedImagePath, Int32 maxImageWidth, Int32 maxImageHeight)
   at AWS.Web.UI.WebControls.ImageDisplay.get_ImageUrl() In 2001, Abbott, the Abbott Fund and the Government of Tanzania formed a public-private partnership to strengthen the country's health care system and address critical areas of need. To date, the Abbott Fund has invested more than $100 million in this more than 10-year partnership effort, and Abbott has made more than $5 million in corporate donations.

The Abbott Fund has been working to comprehensively modernize Muhimbili National Hospital. Key improvements include: a new emergency-medicine department that served 120,000 patients in its first three years of operations; a new outpatient treatment center that serves hundreds of patients per day; a modernized hospital laboratory building; a hospital-wide IT system that tracks inventory, prescriptions and patient health history; and training for hospital managers and health care workers.

In 2011, the Abbott Fund completed a $10 million regional laboratory modernization project by building new laboratories at 23 regional-level hospitals nationwide. This national program is improving diagnostics and monitoring services across the country. Specialized Abbott employee volunteers provide mentoring in laboratory management.

The Abbott Fund has supported more than 20,000 health care worker trainings in HIV care and treatment, voluntary counseling and testing, laboratory equipment operation, hospital information technology and hospital management.

Results include significantly increasing access to HIV testing, care and treatment. A 2007 assessment by the government found that nearly one in three people undergoing HIV treatment in Tanzania were receiving care at one of the more than 90 sites around the country that have benefited from Abbott Fund support. Abbott also donated 1 million rapid HIV tests to launch Tanzania’s national HIV testing campaign. The Abbott Fund has also partnered with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative to build a pediatric AIDS Center of Excellence in Tanzania. The new center will train local health care workers and expand access to pediatric HIV/AIDS care and treatment across the country.
Results Sources: Government of Tanzania and the Abbott Fund
Results to Date

12/10/2013

Copyright © 2006, 2014 Abbott Fund. Abbott Park, Illinois, U.S.A.