To better serve its citizens living with HIV and AIDS, Burundi’s National Program for the Fight against AIDS (PNLS) worked with the HFG Project to identify key information technology (IT) gaps and procure new IT equipment.
At a recent hand-over ceremony, led by U.S. Ambassador to Burundi Dawn M. Liberi and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs David Gilmour, new IT equipment was donated to the Ministry of Health. Burundi’s Minister of Heath, Sabine Ntakarutimana, received the equipment, which included 21 computers.
“A handicap identified by the PNLS was their lack of computer equipment to complete their daily tasks. USAID’s partners worked with the PNLS to identify their needs and facilitated a competitive process for the purchase of the computer equipment for the PNLS,” Ambassador Liberi said at the ceremony.
“The donation of this equipment will also contribute to the registration of persons living with HIV and AIDS for ARV treatment, the monitoring of those who are already on ARV, and finally to improve the overall care provided to those people living with HIV and AIDS in Burundi,” she added.
The HFG project is working to strengthen the institutional capacity of PNLS so it can effectively lead implementation of HIV/AIDS activities across the country. The 2010 Demographic and Health Survey found a 1.4% HIV/AIDS prevalence rate among Burundians between the ages of 15 and 49. Among women living in urban areas, the rate was 6.1%.
Identifying the need for the IT equipment and procuring it is part of HFG’s ongoing efforts in Burundi. HFG is also working with the Ministry of Health to improve the costing of medical services and incorporating this costing information into budgeting and planning. The effort has had a particular focus on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.