Working in partnership with AMREF, AstraZeneca a global biopharmaceutical company, has received an award from the Global Business Coalition on Health.
AstraZeneca worked in partnership with AMREF to create a programme focused on integrated management of malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) in the high-incidence areas of Luwero and Kiboga, Uganda. The program focused on improving community-based prevention methods, constructing and equipping 10 clinical laboratories, and training health system staff. These activities increased the in-country ability to prevent, diagnose and treat the three diseases. Importantly, the introduction of 1,138 Village Health Teams provided a vital ‘missing link’ between the community and formal health systems, referring patients where necessary and improving follow-up.
During the course of this project, 6,618 local people have been trained and more than 1.5 million patient visits have occurred. In the districts covered by the project, malaria deaths in hospital declined by half between 2007 and 2011, new TB cases dropped by 10%, and new HIV diagnoses fell from 11% to 7%, with 69,730 tests now carried out per year, three times the annual figure from the start of the project.
Critical success factors include:
1. Integrating services for greater impact
- Dealing with these three diseases concurrently has improved efficiency and magnified the impact of existing national healthcare resources.
- In particular, integrating HIV/AIDS and TB screening has resulted in a dramatic increase in the diagnosis of HIV/TB co-infection.
2. Sustainable investments via health system capacity-building
- AstraZeneca and AMREF have ensured alignment with national guidelines by working closely with Uganda’s District Health Team, District AIDS Task Force, District AIDS Committee and health workers from the parish to the county hospital level.
- Community Health Units have been given the technology and training necessary to drastically improve data collection and analysis, laying the foundation for a community-based health information system. Through improved links to the formal health system, this locally-sourced data can now inform national health strategy.
- Resources established by this program – such as laboratories and Village Health Workers – can be leveraged to fight other diseases, multiplying impact.”