Previously, links between the three diseases have been largely ignored. In Uganda, 50% of TB patients are infected with HIV and 30% of AIDS-related deaths are attributed to TB. It is widely acknowledged that HIV infections result in a greater risk of death from malaria and malaria infection itself leads to an increase in HIV viral load among adults and possible increased mother-to-child transmission of HIV during pregnancy.
AMREF, along with our partner, leading pharmaceuticals company, AstraZeneca, is aiming to tackle these three killer diseases through an innovative new approach.
Our project in Uganda aims to:
- Improve the capacity of rural health systems to more effectively prevent, diagnose and treat HIV, TB, and malaria.
- Improve prevention, treatment and care at the community level
- Strengthen links between the community and health care system
- Advocate at district , national and regional international level for more integrated approaches to HIV, TB and malaria
By working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health on all guidelines and policies related to the implementation of malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB, AMREF and AstraZeneca’s project will construct and equip 10 clinical laboratories, and train health staff to enable the local community to bring better health to the region. We will also introduce Village Health Teams (VHTs) that provide a vital ‘missing link’ between the community and formal health systems, referring patients where necessary to local hospitals.
Key achievements so far:
- Almost 6,000 Village Health Team members have been trained, who make up over 1,100 teams across the two districts, providing essential health services such as vaccinations.
- 12,000 Information, Education and Communication materials have been produced
- 6 labs have been constructed and 4 are under construction. These will help the community access information on preventing and treating malaria, HIV/AIDs and TB.
- The number of TB tests has doubled from 4,402 a year at the start of the project to 8,728, and the number of new patients who are being diagnosed with both HIV and TB at the same time has grown 164%
- The number of people being tested for malaria has increased 74% from 76,936 in 2007 to 133,813 in 2011 and deaths from malaria have halved – from 135 in 2007 to 63 in 2011