New Baylor-Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Center of Excellence Opens
Joins Largest Network of Pediatric HIV/AIDS Clinics in Africa
The new building is seen at dusk following the dedication of the Baylor-Bristol-Myers Squibb HIV/AIDS Children's Clinical Center of Excellence on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, in Mwanza, Tanzania. Read more
It’s been nearly 30 years since the first cases of HIV/AIDS were reported in Tanzania. Now, about 1.4 million Tanzanians are infected, including 13 percent of women aged 30-34 and more than 8 percent of newborns.
Clearly, there is an urgent need for family-centered pediatric HIV/AIDS care and treatment in Tanzania.
Now, thanks in part to the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Tanzania’s Mwanza region has expanded resources to help fight the epidemic. On February 7, the Baylor College of Medicine-Texas Children’s Hospital - Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence was officially opened at Bugando Medical Centre, Tanzania.
This new center was created through a public-private partnership among the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital, the United States Agency for International Development and the Tanzanian government. By 2013, the center is expected to care for at least 5,000 children and their families affected by HIV.
A brass band and children's choir perform during the dedication of the HIV/AIDS Children's Clinical Center of Excellence - Tanzania on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, in Mwanza, Tanzania.
“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, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and vice president, 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.”
At the opening ceremony of the Tanzania Pediatric HIV/AIDS Center of Excellence, left to right: Ayoub Magimba, executive director, Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation – Tanzania; Michael Mizwa, senior vice president and COO, Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative; John Celentano, senior vice president, Human Resources, Public Affairs and Philanthropy, Bristol-Myers Squibb; the Honorable Alfonso Lenhardt, U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania; and John Damonti, vice president, Corporate Philanthropy, Bristol-Myers Squibb.
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, staffed in part by a SECURE THE FUTURE-funded corps of pediatricians from North America. This is the largest network of pediatric HIV/AIDS facilities on the continent. Existing centers of excellence operate in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Uganda, including about 20 satellite clinics in Africa, treating thousands of HIV-positive children and their families. The final center, in Kisumu, Kenya, is scheduled to open in 2012.
This program is funded by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation through SECURE THE FUTURE, a groundbreaking $160 million initiative established in 1999 to help confront HIV/AIDS in Africa. SECURE THE FUTURE has funded more than 240 projects in 20 African countries, integrating clinic-based medical care with community-based health education and supportive care. It is the first and still largest corporate philanthropic commitment to fighting the disease on the continent.