Lusaka. June 30, 2015.
KABWE — On June 30, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through funding provided by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the Government of the Republic of Zambia officially opened the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial ART (antiretroviral therapy) Clinic. The newly refurbished clinic will provide vital medical commodities and services to people living with HIV while easing the burden for these services at other nearby health facilities.
“The refurbished ART facility at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Clinic reflects our strong partnership with the Zambian government in our joint battle to achieve an AIDS-free generation in Zambia,” said USAID Deputy Mission Director Patrick Diskin at Tuesday’s event.
The original Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Clinic began offering HIV services in 2006, when the local community noticed an increased need. In time, the clinic was overwhelmed by a high volume of patients, and the need for extra space, new equipment, and better trained health workers became apparent. The community and local government approached USAID’s flagship HIV service activity, the Zambia Prevention, Care and Treatment Partnership (ZPCT II), which channeled PEPFAR funding to complete renovation of the facility.
ZPCT II upgraded the clinic and laboratory and constructed a medical waste incinerator on site. The project trained health workers and community volunteers on HIV programs that focused on family planning, clinical care and commodity management, and instructed them on how to maintain the new equipment.
ZPCT II operates in 400 health facilities in six provinces, where more than 230,000 people are on treatment and nearly one million have access to testing, counseling, treatment and support for HIV. Currently, USAID supports 83 health facilities in Central Province.