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Aga Khan Health Service, Tanzania and agence francaise de developpement (afd)  sign an agreement to establish an infectious disease unit in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza
Aga Khan Health Service, Tanzania and French Development Agency (AFD), in presence of the French Ambassador and Resident Representative of AKDN signed a €300,000 grant agreement to establish infectious diseases units in Dar es Salam and Mwanza; an initiative undertaken by the Aga Khan Health Service, AFD and other partners. The grant will enable strengthening of the current system to address challenges related to infectious diseases control management. It will enable the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam to adequately respond to pandemics, such as COVID, including addressing issues pertaining to inadequate health infrastructure and capacity.

The Infectious Disease Unit will complement the efforts of the Government of Tanzania in reducing the transmission of infectious diseases and support the containment of any pandemics, to protect individuals’ risk of severe to critical illness. This unit will address a critical need for a safe health care environ-ment with 
appropriate facilities to provide quality services for those in need. 

This grant of €300,000 is provided as part of the worldwide “Covid-19 Health in Common” initiative launched by the French President and implemented by AFD in response to the worldwide public health crisis caused by the global pandemics. 

The grant will more specifically contribute to four thematic areas; 

  • Infrastructure development – to cater the increasing demand of infectious disease patients requiring expertise clinical care through a standardized quality of care including diagnostic services and clinical care. 
  • Facility enhancement - a full-fledged facility to provide modern medical care for patients at affordable costs. The advanced approach to health systems improvement to combat infectious disease will inform operational research and long-term preparedness for sustainability and any unexpected future outbreaks. 
  • Capacity Building - The Aga Khan Hospital will work closely with the Government of Tanzania and in training of frontline workers to enhance their skills, improve practices and competences especially on various clinical protocols and guidelines for infection prevention and control, and for managing suspected and confirmed patients. 
  • Technology - Leveraging technology and enhancing e-health connectivity between other hospitals and the IDU will enhance the ability of the health system to utilize technology in various aspects of disease prevention and containment.

Speaking during the ceremony, Mr. Sulaiman Shahabuddin, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Health Services, East Africa said: “AKHS,T has been serving the people of Tanzania since over 90 years, working with the Government through its long term partnership (PPP) engagement with the Government of Tanzania, serving as a treatment site supporting contingency planning and access to rationAl and timely services for patients.  The IDU will enable further collaboration and collective efforts on infection con-trol, containment, case isolation and treatment, and health system responsivity. This new unit at the Aga Khan Hospital which is a zonal referral hospital will leverage its technical and implementation capacity through existing clinical and support service delivery platforms to execute the planned care interventions for infectious disease patients”.

Addressing the financing justification of this project Mrs. Stéphanie Mouen, the Country Director of French Development Agency in Tanzania said: “The social commitments taken by AKHS,T have been decisive in AFD’s decision to indeed participate in the funding of this well thought initiative for AKHS,T and the country. Also, this is aligned with the objectives pursued by AFD to ensure such project provides maximum desired impact for populations. AFD further believes that this initiative will demonstrate its responsiveness and efficiency in support of the development of our partners, in particular in East Africa. The strong and confident partnership to deliver desired success dates back more than 12 years’ ago where AFD Group and AKDN signed a partnership agreement to have one common ground: a genuine desire to invest in the social uplifting and improving people’s quality of life. Alongside the initi-atives being conducted by France at multilateral level, it demonstrates our determination to provide support through our bilateral aid for Tanzania in particular by responding to the unprecedented health crisis we are currently facing.”

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