CDC donates methadone dispensing machine to Zanzibar

THE Amref Health Africa Tanzania, with support from the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under Afya Kamilifu Project, has handed over a methadone dispensing machine (Methameasure) to Kidongo Chekundu MAT Clinic in Zanzibar.

The donation is meant to support the clinic’s efforts in providing medically assisted therapy (MAT) to people who inject drugs (PWID) and to reduce the risk of HIV transmission among such population.

Speaking during a handing over ceremony, Dr Florence Temu, Country Director of Amref Health Africa Tanzania, said: “This machine will increase the efficiency of work by accurately prescribing the dose for patients and accelerating the distribution of medication. This will reduce patients waiting times and the need for additional human resources.”

“The project aims to provide access to harm reduction services, including MAT and HIV testing and counseling. The machine’s accuracy in measuring the appropriate medication dose will help reduce the risk of complications and overdose for patients, ultimately contributing to the project’s overall goal of reducing HIV transmission, TB and Hepatitis among PWID,” Dr Florence Temu said adding:

“We are grateful for the support of the U.S. CDC and the opportunity to continue to support our clinic, The machine will enhance the quality of MAT services for PWID by reducing waiting times, alleviating the burden on healthcare providers and accurately measure methadone doses.

Its implementation will positively impact the MAT clinic’s ability to provide effective treatment. Prior to the machine, long wait times for methadone and increased workload for human resources were common.

“Overall, the machine will help narrow the gap in access to quality healthcare services for PWID and aid in preventing HIV transmission in the community,” said the Minister for Health, Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui adding that the number of young people who need the medication has been growing.

“The U.S government through PEPFAR and CDC will continue to support the Ministry of Health in Zanzibar’s’ effort to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to key and vulnerable populations, especially people who inject drugs … We remain committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of communities in Zanzibar,” said Nyagonde Nyagonde, Acting HIV Prevention Branch Chief.

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