AIDS Treatment News logo      

July 12, 2009

To Fix Health Care, Some Study Developing World: Cost-Effective Medical Practices Deployed in Poor Nations Deliver Good Results, but Can They Work...

"When doctors running the AIDS clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham wanted to increase the number of patients who showed up for treatment, they turned to an unusual place for help: southern Africa.

"Project Connect" is based on a program used in AIDS clinics in Zambia. In the Alabama program, patients were given appointments with doctors within five days of calling the clinic. Blood tests were taken during the first visit. A social worker did an interview, trying to identify and address any issues that might prevent patients from coming back. The no-show rate dropped from 31% in 2007 to 18% through June 2009.

"Dr. Michael Saag, hugging a patient after a checkup, found a model for his AIDS clinic at the University of Alabama in a similar program in Zambia.

"We recognized that we had a problem and that Zambia had already come up with an affordable solution that could work here," says Michael Saag, a pre-eminent AIDS doctor and founding director of the Alabama clinic."

Read more in AEGIS, July 9, 2009.