Highlands Hope, PIUMA and District Commissioner Kapinga join Partec to advance HIV care in Makete

On World AIDS Day 2005 ,the Makete people living with HIV/AIDS group PIUMA was officially launched by the Honourable District Commissioner Osmond Kapinga at Bulongwa.

During the launch Dr. Volker Ost of Partec, Germany, donated a new Cyflow SL_3 Counter to PIUMA. Currently this is the only machine worldwide able to perform CD4% fully automatically. This laboratory parameter is a necessary prerequisite to carry out a state of the art treatment for infants below the age of 7. The machine will be based at Bulongwa Lutheran Hospital under the auspices of PIUMA.

"We already have very good experiences using a Cyflow Counter for the last 18 months," says Bulongwa CTC leading physician Dr. Rainer Brandl. "There was not a single service requirement, breakdown or any other technical problem with the Cyflow. From our experience, we can say proudly say that our decision to use Partec technology was the right one."

The Bulongwa experience was mirrored by Highlands Hope partners at Ikonda Hospital using a Cyflow machine of the same type. In-the-field use in a very challenging and remote rural setting confirms the positive results for the Cyflow system found in numerous international clinical studies.

"We think that a high quality, durable and simple-to-operate counter of this type could do a lot to realise our dream: To treat everybody who is in need throughout the world", says Dr. Brandl. "If it works in our setting, the Cyflow counter will work anywhere."

All credible studies published in the world's top class scientific journals confirm the Cyflow Counter's excellent performance in resource-limited settings. The accuracy of its results is one of the highest compared to other machines on the market, while the price of reagents and the system's running costs are very low. Many NGOs and FBOs from around the world are reporting good results, confirmed by quality control studies and the emerging evidence of good clinical results of ARV treatment in resource-constrained settings. Many lives are being saved through the use of Cyflow (being by far the most scientifically assessed CD4% counter in the world) and the quality of ARV treatment is being enhanced.

"We are very grateful for the additional feature (CD4%) of the new machine, which will help us to focus even more on our youngest patients," says Dr. Brandl. "It has always been very troubling to us when we fail to treat them with the same quality of care that would be possible in other places in the world. We are getting closer to this aim, and we will reach it: A high quality treatment for children, even in a rural, resource-poor area!"

In addition to the new counter, Partec has pledged a ten year-price guarantee for the CD4 reagents to the Highlands Hope consortium. One test with the Partec system costs 1.75 Euro, by far the least expensive CD4 test available. The price of reagents offered by other manufactures can cost as much as 20 US$ per test. Some firms are also selling tests which have not been approved for use in European, Canadian, Japanese or US markets.

"It is our policy neither to sell nor donate anything to a customer which is not for use in our own country and which we would not be allowed to sell in any other place in the world", says Dr. Volker Ost of Partec.

In his appreciation speech, the District Commissioner of Makete, Mr. Osmond Kapinga, said that the Cyflow machine has come to the right place in a remote district which has thousands of HIV/AIDS orphaned children. He added that now many children can now start receiving the therapy they need at an early stage of their lives.

December 1, 2005.