Chicago Tribune Examines Abbott’s Challenges to Improving Health Care for People Affected by AIDS in Tanzania
The Chicago Tribune on Tuesday examined the "less obvious and less readily overcome" barriers that Abbott Laboratories has faced in attempting to provide better health care to those affected by AIDS in Tanzania (Greising, Chicago Tribune, 11/22). Since 2001, the Abbott Fund -- in partnership with the Tanzanian government and the health management company Axios -- has provided $35 million to modernize health care systems, expand access to HIV testing and treatment and assist orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Tanzania (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/6). "Five years into its commitment, Abbott sill fights to find new ways to address the complexity of the AIDS challenge," the Tribune reports. In Tanzania, hospital laboratories are "archaic"; many clinics are "overrun with patients"; there is "little capacity" to treat AIDS-related illnesses, including tuberculosis and malaria; orphans whose parents died of AIDS-related diseases often are not properly cared for; and a "social stigma" against HIV-positive people "persists," according to the Tribune. Abbott has decided to focus primarily on improving health care infrastructure and providing care for orphans and HIV-positive children, but the Tanzanian government sets the plan for rolling out the programs. Few donors "are willing to concede" as much control over their programs as Abbott does, and some HIV/AIDS experts have criticized how the money has been spent; however, the partnership is attempting to achieve "cooperation" that makes both donors and politicians more effective at fighting the epidemic, the Tribune reports (Chicago Tribune, 11/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.