HOUSTON – (November 7, 2011) – The Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (www.bipai.org) today opened two additional satellite children’s clinical centers of excellence in Swaziland to expand the provision of family-centered HIV/AIDS care, treatment and prevention to the rural populations of the Kingdom.
The centers are located at the Church of the Nazarene Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Manzini (www.gov.sz/home.asp?pid=209 ) and the Hlatikulu Government Hospital in Hlatikulu (www.gov.sz/home.asp?pid=291 ).
Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) and Texas Children’s Hospital (www.texaschildrens.org ) serve as BIPAI’s sponsoring institutions and help operate a Network of HIV/AIDS clinical care centers in Africa, Romania and the United States.
The opening of the Swaziland clinics signify BIPAI’s expansion of outreach and services from its primary Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence in the capital city of Mbabane, which opened in February 2006 by His Majesty King Mswati III.
Both satellite centers were constructed with support from a grant from the Abbott Fund (www.abbottfund.org ), the philanthropic foundation of Abbott, the global health care company.
“The expansion of quality services is essential for the thousands of children and their families affected by HIV in Swaziland,” said Katherine Pickus, Divisional Vice President, Global Citizenship and Policy, Abbott. “Our support for the new satellite clinics is an example of the Abbott Fund’s core mission to increase access to health care for disadvantaged populations around the world.” To date, the Abbott Fund has provided more than $50 million in grants and donated products to BIPAI to support the care and treatment of children with HIV in the developing world.
Attending both opening ceremonies in Manzini and Hlatikulu were the Guest of Honor, His Excellency the Right Honorable Prime Minister Dr. Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini; Benedict Xaba, Swaziland Minister of Health; Michael Mizwa, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of BIPAI; Nancy Calles, Senior Vice President, BIPAI; Dr. Hailu Sarero, Executive Director, Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Swaziland, Alfred Magal+la, Manager, Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s Programs, Abbott Fund-Tanzania, and local leaders, stakeholders and members of Cabinet and Parliament.
BIPAI is a leader in Swaziland for HIV/AIDS pediatric and family care, treatment, training and the ongoing support of health professionals for the scale-up of these services nationally.
Since the official COE opening in 2006 in Swaziland, BIPAI has provided treatment, care and supportive services to close to 20,000 pediatric and family patients of which around 12,000 (60 percent) are children. The current active patient caseload stands at 3,446 children and 1,942 adults. The program has trained more than 1,200 government health staff on pediatric and family HIV/AIDS care and treatment. Seven BIPAI Global Health Corps pediatricians are currently providing HIV/AIDS care and treatment services in Swaziland.
“The opening of these satellite children’s centers of excellence represents a significant step forward in decentralizing HIV/AIDS care and treatment in order to provide universal access to all children in need of HIV/AIDS services in Swaziland,” said Mizwa.
The new satellite children’s centers of excellence will be opened by BIPAI through a public-private partnership with the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland, Texas Children’s Hospital, the Abbott Fund, The United Nations Children's Fund (www.unicef.org) and the Claypotts Trust (www.claypotts.org/).
BIPAI is dedicated to supporting the government’s goals and objectives concerning HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment and support.