21 November 2012

Tanzania: Regency Hospital to Offer Free CD4 Count Services

REGENCY Medical Centre (RMC) will start offering free CD4 count testing services after receiving CD4 testing equipment worth 60 million

Handing over the equipment, the Chief Executive Officer of the Management and Development for Heath (MDH), Dr Chalamika Guerino, said that his organization had been donating such equipment to public and private hospitals in order for such hospitals to offer free testing services for the poor.

"Regency hospital has been offering services for the poor and that's why we decided to bring this equipment here so that wananchi will be testing CD4 and TB free of charge," he explained. CD4 cells, sometimes also called T-cells, or T-helper cells, are white blood cells which organise the immune system's response to bacterial, fungal and viral infections.

A normal CD4 cell count in an HIV-negative man is between 400 and 1600 per cubic millimetre of blood (but doctors normally just give a figure, e.g. 500). CD4 cell counts in HIV-negative women tend to be a little higher, between 500 and 1700.

Dr Guerino added that such donation was a clear testimony of strengthened public private partnership (ppp) and that MDH would continue to donate such equipment in order to improve health services. On his part, the Chairman of RMC, Dr Rajni Kanabar, said his hospital was serving 120,000 HIV/AIDS victims and that the equipment will help the hospital to serve more people.

"Wananchi should turn up to test for CD4 counts and TB free of charge" said Dr Kanabar, hailing MDH for such donation. He added that such donation signals good relations between private and public hospitals. RMC has also joined hands with the Lancet Group of Laboratories from Kenya and it will be a fully fledged laboratory with 4500 tests including a fully developed pathology unit in next 3 months.

However in first stage RMC in collaboration with Lancet is ready to offer Routine tests in Haematology, Biochemistry, Tumour markers, Hormone assays. But all the pathology Studies which at the moment are being outsourced to Kenya.

Lancet Laboratories Tanzania, duly incorporated under the Laws of Tanzania, is a new ultramodern and world class independent pathology laboratory in Dar es Salaam Tanzania, which was established to provide medical laboratory, consultative and referral services, with a range of tests in the facility, including routine specialized and advanced tests for clinical, research, screening, industrial, environmental and occupational health.

Lancet Laboratories is an internationally accredited pathology laboratory which has been in the business for over 50 years, has more than 100 reference laboratories, and in excess of 100 branch offices located in various parts of the world. Lancet's test menu of over 4500 routine and specialized tests is the largest in Africa making it a superb partner for diagnostic service delivery.

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