TANZANIA— The United States President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through ICAP Tanzania, have committed over US$750,000 to support the setup, operation, and accreditation of the Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) molecular laboratory. 

This revelation was made by CDC Country Director Dr. Mahesh Swaminathan during the handover event of the HIV Drug Resistance Testing Laboratory at BMC in Mwanza City. 

The event was attended by Mwanza Regional Commissioner Said Mtanda, a US Congressional Staff Delegation, CDC Washington directors, representatives from CDC Tanzania, ICAP, the Ministry of Health, and other members of the regional health management team. 

Dr. Swaminathan highlighted that for more than 15 years, the US-PEPFAR, through CDC, has supported Bugando Hospital and strengthened laboratory systems in all regions of mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. 

 He noted that through these partnerships, BMC has become a leader in advanced technology, transforming the laboratory into a sustainable, self-operating entity delivering high-quality laboratory services across more than eight regions and extending services to neighboring countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi. 

Dr. Swaminathan praised the U.S. government’s collaboration with various Tanzanian entities. 

He commended the Ministry of Health, the Tanzania Commission for AIDS, the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government Authorities, regional officials, non-governmental organizations, and civil society organizations for their dedication to improving health outcomes in Tanzania. 

Additionally, he complimented BMC for its commitment to HIV epidemic control, pandemic prevention, readiness, and response through advanced detection systems. 

ICAP Country Director Haruka Maruyama also spoke at the event, emphasizing the importance of the partnership between ICAP and BMC. 

She stated that this collaboration has significantly supported the Bugando lab, turning it into a major testing hub and repository for Tanzania’s HIV Impact Research.  

Maruyama highlighted that the establishment of the HIV drug resistance testing laboratory is a crucial step in ensuring the quality of HIV services in the Lake Zone regions and beyond. 

Maruyama elaborated that the new laboratory, with its forensic testing capacity for the Lake Zone regions, promises to elevate patient care and enhance HIV/AIDS services. 

She emphasized that this celebration was not merely the official handover of a laboratory but marked the dawn of a new era in their fight against HIV. 

ICAP Tanzania, with continued support from the CDC, will persist in aiding BMC and the Ministry of Health in various public health interventions, Maruyama assured.  

She concluded by extending gratitude to the government of Tanzania, PEPFAR, and the CDC for their unwavering support in making the establishment of the HIV Drug Resistance Laboratory a reality. 

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