AstraZeneca & AMREF: An Integrated Approach to Managing HIV/AIDS, Malaria & TB in Uganda
AstraZeneca and the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) have been working together since 2004. The partnership initially focused on TB in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. In 2006, AstraZeneca extended its commitment to support AMREF in strengthening healthcare systems and integrating management of TB, HIV and malaria programs in Uganda, where there is a high burden of all three diseases. AstraZeneca is one of a few organizations involved in this integrated approach. The program is focused on women of child-bearing age, people living with HIV/AIDS and children under the age of seven in the poor, remote Luwero and Kiboga districts of central Uganda, which have high disease incidence rates, influenced by lack of healthcare funding in and destruction of local healthcare infrastructure by conflict. AMREF works with district health teams in Luwero and Kiboga to encourage ownership and continued implementation. Training and support for health workers, coupled with public campaigns, is essential for effective implementation. The program is focused on: Enhancing the capacity of health centers to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB, particularly through improved laboratory diagnostic capacity; Improving community-based prevention, treatment and care; Strengthening links between the formal health system and informal community-based capabilities; Gathering data to support an integrated and community based strategy. The program is aligned to Ugandan Ministry of Health targets and also to MDGs 4 and 5, which focus on the reduction of child and maternal mortality. Progress to date includes: Three laboratories have been completed to Ministry of Health standards, management of which has been handed over to district management teams; 144 Village Health Teams with 776 members have been established, trained in health promotion; 161 health awareness outreach activities and 91 educational films screenings at HIV Counselling and Testing clinics; 183 local peer educators trained in reproductive health, life skills, counseling and MAT (Malaria HIV/AIDS TB) testing; The Ministry of Health has implemented a policy of integrated MAT testing and is working with AMREF on this program.