The Aga Khan Health Services, the arm of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) that supports activities in health across Africa and Asia has announced a new partnership with the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement – AFD) to establish infectious disease units in two of Tanzania’s cities.
The two entities have signed a €300,000 grant agreement to establish Infectious Diseases Units (IDU) in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza. The Infectious Disease Units will offer full-fledged services, capacity building, infrastructure, and technology to enhance the quality of service delivery.
The grant will enable the strengthening of the current system to address challenges pertaining to infectious disease control management. It will enable the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam to respond adequately to pandemics, such as COVID, including addressing issues pertaining to inadequate health infrastructure and capacity.
The grant of €300,000 is provided as part of the worldwide “COVID-19–Health in Common” initiative launched by the French President and implemented by AFD in response to the worldwide public health crisis caused by the global pandemics.
Present in Tanzania since 2008, AFD group is providing financing solutions and technical assistance (more than €760 m (1,900 Bn Tzs) over the last 10 years) to support the Tanzanian government, local authorities, private sector and NGOs to reduce economic, social and territorial inequalities through the promotion of sustainable and inclusive development.
The signing of the new funding scheme was conducted in Tanzania’s capital Dar Es Salaam between Stéphanie Mouen, AFD’s Country Director in Tanzania, and Resident Representative of AKDN, Amin Kurji.
The Infectious Diseases Units will complement the efforts of the Government of Tanzania in reducing the transmission of infectious diseases, support the containment of any pandemics, and protect individuals’ risk of severe to critical illness. These units will address the critical need for a safe health care environment, with appropriate facilities that provide quality services for those in need.
Mouen, said, “The social commitments are undertaken by AKHS, Tanzania has been decisive in AFD’s decision to participate in the funding of this well-thought initiative for AKHS,T and the country. AFD and AKDN have a longstanding partnership going back 12 years to the signing of a partnership agreement and have one common ground: a genuine desire to invest in improving people’s quality of life.”
Sulaiman Shahabuddin, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Health Services, East Africa, said, the IDU will enable further collaboration and collective efforts on infection control, containment, case isolation and treatment, and health system responsivity.
“This new unit at the Aga Khan Hospital, which will build on 90 years of working with the Tanzanian Government, will leverage its technical and implementation capacity to execute the planned care interventions for infectious disease patients.”
The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) was founded by His Highness the Aga Khan as a private, international, non-denominational development organization. AKHS also works with the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) and the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) on the integration of health issues into specific projects. AKHS is organised into national service companies in Afghanistan, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Uganda.