In Tanzania, SHOPS Plus partnered with North Star Alliance, a provider of healthcare services established to meet the health challenges facing transport workers and communities across sub-Saharan Africa.
Transport workers, who are at high risk for HIV/AIDS and other health and safety issues, often lack consistent access to quality health services given their line of work and hours of operation. North Star Alliance works with Trafigura Foundation, Puma Energy, and Impala Logistics to address the unique health risks and challenges associated with this industry.
With financial support from the foundation, North Star Alliance operates the Roadside Wellness Centers, also known as Blue Box Clinics, in six African countries including Tanzania. The company uses converted shipping containers (painted blue) to house clinics that deliver primary health care programs for people with increased health risks, such as truck drivers and sex workers. There are a total of six clinic sites funded by the foundation: two in Dar es Salaam, two in Iringa, and two in Tunduma.
To support the sustainability of these clinics, SHOPS Plus provided technical assistance to register North Star Alliance as a local service delivery organization; register the Blue Box clinics as formal private health facilities with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children; and register each new clinic site with the country’s Private Hospital Advisory Board. As a result, the clinics are now eligible to engage in a range of partnerships with the Tanzanian government, including contracting with the National Health Insurance Fund, accessing donated and subsidized antiretroviral commodities, and participating in government reporting systems. These partnerships all support the sustained, continued delivery of HIV services at the six Blue Box clinics as part of the national HIV response.
In addition to registering these clinics, the project worked with the National AIDS Control Program to organize clinical trainings for staff at the clinics on basic ART and comprehensive management of HIV/AIDS. The project also provided support to build linkages between the clinics and comprehensive treatment centers at PEPFAR-sponsored facilities for commodity access, reporting, and referrals.