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BD/PEPFAR Lab-Strengthening Initiative Marks Progress in Fight Against HIV/AIDS and TB in Sub-Saharan Africa
Date:7/19/2009

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, July 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A collaboration between the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) has made significant progress in improving lab conditions and enhancing the skills of lab personnel on the front lines of the battle against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) in sub-Saharan Africa.

The PEPFAR-BD collaboration -- valued at up to $18 million -- targets a number of countries seriously impacted by HIV/AIDS. Under PEPFAR, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through CDC, is the lead implementing agency for strengthening laboratory systems. BD is a leading global medical technology company with technical expertise relating to laboratory systems.

Through a series of training programs conducted to date in Uganda, South Africa and Mozambique, the ambitious lab-strengthening program is part of a five-year initiative designed to fortify healthcare systems in countries severely impacted by the two pandemics.

"The shortage of trained healthcare workers is one of the largest constraints to battling disease in developing countries," said Krista Thompson, Vice President and General Manager, Global Health at BD. "BD and PEPFAR are helping to improve the fundamental capacity to deliver healthcare by training workers in sub-Saharan Africa. Proper training helps lead to proper diagnosis, which is essential for preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, TB and other diseases."

"Efforts to build country health systems are essential as we transition toward greater sustainability of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care efforts and broader public health initiatives," said Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. "We must support country-led efforts to plan and manage programs, deliver services and ultimately finance critical health programs. PEPFAR's co
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SOURCE BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company)
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