The Botswana-UPenn Partnership has received a $2 million grant from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation to join with the Botswana Ministry of Health in building a facility for HIV/AIDS treatment in Botswana and to support the University of Pennsylvania‘s health-care initiative through clinical care, education, and research.
Set for construction on the grounds of the Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, the facility will help Penn impact the people of Botswana who are affected by HIV/AIDS as well as improve HIV-related research and medical education.
“Having seen first hand the work Penn is doing in Gaborone along with that country’s own health professionals, I know how vitally important this new facility will be to the management of HIV-infected patients and to medical education in Botswana,” said Penn president Amy Gutmann, who visited the southern African country last year, said. “We are grateful to The Tiffany & Co. Foundation for their compassion and commitment, for their generosity and for joining in this partnership, which is a model for improving health care around the world.”
The new four-story building will house a general pediatric outpatient clinic and an adult HIV clinic, along with educational facilities, research labs, offices and an on-call facility for health-care practitioners. In addition to the contribution from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and another from Penn, the building is funded by the Botswana Ministry of Health.
“Both Tiffany & Co. and The Tiffany & Co. Foundation have long championed socially and environmentally responsible mining practices,” said Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and chief executive officer of Tiffany & Co., said. “More broadly, the Foundation also supports the social and economic development of communities in which mining takes place. There is no better example of this than the Foundation’s support of the Botswana-UPenn Partnership. The toll that HIV/AIDS has taken on the people of Botswana is enormous, and our support of this new treatment center is one of the ways we can share with the people of Botswana the benefits of the country’s enormous natural wealth.”
The Partnership is also involved in helping Botswana establish the curriculum for internship and internal-medicine residency training at its own medical school, which enrolled its first students this fall at the University of Botswana. In the past, the country sent students away for medical training, with few returning after graduation.
“With this new facility and support from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Penn can help support the training of medical and health professionals and continue our clinical work in Botswana,” Harvey Friedman, director of the Botswana-UPenn Partnership, said.
Penn and the University of Botswana have established student-internship programs in nursing, business, archaeology and anthropology, education, engineering, veterinary medicine, social work, labor, and law.
The Botswana-UPenn Partnership began in 2001 when Penn physicians were invited to help treat HIV-infected outpatients in Botswana. Later, the physicians began taking part in medical care and education at hospitals.
Established in 2000, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations working in two main program areas: the environment and the arts.
Caption: One of the open wards at the Princess Marina Hospital.