Under blue skies affording views of Mounts Kilimanjaro and Meru, Bono, lead singer from the band U2, arrived in Tanzania's third largest city, Arusha, to see African development successes and challenges. During his trip, Bono visited the Ngarenaro Health Center, which receives support from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Emergency Plan/ PEPFAR).
The Ngarenaro Health Center provides women with labor, delivery, and family planning services, pregnancy monitoring, and other services. On average, 100 women visit the clinic every day.
With support from the Emergency Plan, the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) program has been integrated with routine maternal child health services. Under this comprehensive approach, services have been provided to over 155 newborns exposed to HIV. Additionally, 99 percent of pregnant women received HIV counseling and testing using the opt-out approach. During the first eight months of PMTCT services, 559 of the 8,200 pregnant women tested HIV-positive. Many of these HIV-positive women were referred to the regional hospital for assessment and antiretroviral treatment, which is now more widely available.
With support from the Emergency Plan, antiretroviral treatment in Tanzania is scaling up rapidly. "It's great to see how PEPFAR and Global Fund dollars are working together to bring off services," said Bono upon learning that 22,000 Tanzanians are now on antiretroviral treatment, up from 1,000 in 2004. "I'm always interested when something abstract becomes real."
Pamela White, USAID/Tanzania Mission Director, who traveled alongside Bono's team said, "Bono has spent enormous energy pushing money for HIV/AIDS and malaria on both sides of the Atlantic... I believe his visit to Tanzania may have been the first time [he's] actually seen policy turned into reality on the ground."
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