TANZANIA LAUNCHES MOBILE PHONE APPLICATION TO TEST FOR HIV/AIDS

DAR-ES-SALAAM-- Tanzania's Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu, has launched a new mobile phone-based application which supports testing, treatment and improves adherence to anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Fast ART Self-Assessment & ARV Refill (FASTA) app is a part of mobile phone health (mHealth) initiative which can be used by HIV patients for a virtual self-check in, and appointment reminder for the patient on ART.

The programme is supported by the United States government, through funding from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in collaboration with the Henry Jackson Foundation-Medical Research International (HJFMRI).

Speaking during the Furaha Yangu campaign and FASTA launch in Songea, the capital of Ruvuma Region (Province) in southwestern Tanzania, at the weekend, Mwalimu, applauded the intervention saying that it will help people living with HIV/AIDS to improve their adherence to medication.

Apart from reducing opportunity costs for the client, FASTA will decongest clinics and allow for more quality time to clients who need to see a clinician. As a result, clients will have an improved experience when accessing ART services, thus improving adherence and retention and supporting the 2nd and 3rd phases of the 90-90-90 UN AIDS goals, she added.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK