Private–public partnerships are important vehicles in global-health initiatives. These partnerships can combine financial, educational, and knowledge-based resources from governmental, public, and private entities in the developed world with local governments and organizations in the developing world to address specific health concerns. Treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS in Africa represent areas of ongoing concern in global public-health efforts. Bristol-Myers Squibb announced a recent project in Tanzania as part of its focus of combating HIV/AIDS in Africa.
In February 2011, Bristol-Myers Squibb, through the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, opened the Baylor College of Medicine-Texas Children’s Hospital —Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence at the Bugando Medical Center, a 900-bed, tertiary referral hospital, in Tanzania. The family-centered pediatric HIV/AIDS care and treatment center seeks to tackle the problem of HIV/AIDS in that country. Approximately 1.4 million Tanzanians are infected with HIV/AIDS, including 13% of women aged 30–34 and more than 8% of newborns, according to information from Bristol-Myers Squibb. By 2013, the center is expected to care for at least 5000 children and their families affected by HIV. Additionally, the center will provide infrastructure for training current and future HIV/AIDS care providers. The center was established through a public–private partnership between the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children's Hospital, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development, and the government of Tanzania.
In collaboration with the government of Tanzania, the center will partner with the Bugando Medical College, Bugando Medical Center’s medical school, to expand its programs in pediatric global health and support curriculum development, mentoring, and pediatric residency rotations. "This Pediatric Center of Excellence represents an investment in sustainable development and another critical step in fulfilling the vision of the US and Tanzanian Partnership Framework for a coordinated HIV/AIDS response: providing health services today while building enduring health systems for tomorrow," said US Ambassador to Tanzania Alfonso Lenhardt in commenting on the new facility.
The Mwanza center will join BIPAI's existing network of Children's Clinical Centers of Excellence throughout eastern and Sub-Saharan Africa. "Ultimately, this will establish a network of pediatric HIV/AIDS care and treatment canvassing all three countries bordering Lake Victoria, a region with the highest HIV prevalence in east Africa," said Michael Mizwa, BIPAI chief operating officer and senior vice-president.
“The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and Baylor College of Medicine share a common goal of improving the care and treatment of communities affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa, working together with local governments,” says John Damonti, president of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and vice-president of corporate philanthropy. “This new center builds on our longstanding strategy of forging public–private partnerships to effect lasting change at the community level for the benefit of HIV-infected and affected children and their families,” he said.
The Tanzanian Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence will join the existing network of children’s HIV/AIDS centers established by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Baylor College of Medicine, which are staffed in part by a funded corps of pediatricians from North America and which include a network of pediatric HIV/AIDS facilities. Existing centers of excellence operate in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Uganda, including about 20 satellite clinics in Africa for treating HIV-positive children and their families. The final center, in Kisumu, Kenya, is scheduled to open in 2012. Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Secure the Future program is a $160-million initiative established in 1999 to help confront HIV/AIDS in Africa. The Secure the Future program has funded more than 240 projects in 20 African countries, integrating clinic-based medical care with community-based health education and supportive care, according to the company.