DAR ES SALAAM – Health Minister UMMY MWALIMU of TANZANIA has launched a cell phone-based application that supports testing, treatment and improves adherence to antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV and AIDS.

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu (Pic. Daily News)

The DAILY NEWS says fast ART self-assessment and ARV refill is a part of mobile phone health initiative that HIV patients use for self-check in, and an appointment reminder for patients.

The UNITED STATES President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, supported the launch with support from the WALTER REED Army Institute of Research and the HENRY JACKSON Foundation Medical Research International.

The publication says Minister MWALIMU, also in charge of Community Development, Gender, the Elderly, and Children, has addressed delegates during the FURAHA YANGU Campaign in the south-western city of SONGEA.

It says she has commended the intervention, saying it will help HIV and AIDS patients to improve their adherence to medication, decongest clinics, and allow for more, quality time to see an expert.

Minister MWALIMU says as a result, clients will have better access to ARV services, thus improving adherence and retention as well as supporting the SECOND and THIRD Phases of the 90-90-90 UN-AIDS goals.

She says they expect the cell phone-based application to improve the government’s service delivery model for stable clients on ART.

It comprises a virtual self-check-in that allows the client to navigate through an unstructured supplementary service data menu, completing a series of questions similar to those an expert would ask during a typical clinic visit.

The answers qualify the client either for a refill of medication from a nearby pharmacy or pick-up point, or for referral back to the Care and Treatment Centre for physical check-up and management.

Minister MWALIMU says the facility supports the differentiated care models allowing for multi-month scripting and spaced-out clinical visits for stable clients.

The TANZANIAN Cabinet member says the scheme aims to increase retention and adherence to ART through a secure phone-based two-way messaging system./Sabanews/cam

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