The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday said it was giving $3.3 million in commodities, and as part of a broader ‘New Tools Project-Nigeria’, to Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health’s National TB and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP).
The US Embassy, in a disclosure, said the initiative will help Nigeria find more missing Tuberculosis cases and also sustain an upward trajectory for TB case-finding in line with global targets.
The US Embassy, in a statement, said Nigeria reported a 15 percent increase in tuberculosis cases to 138,600 from 120,266 in 2019. The statement quoted Anne Patterson, USAID mission director, to have said, “We are committed to working closely with the government of Nigeria in expanding early detection and reducing the number of TB cases in the country. These tools will make TB primary care more accessible to many Nigerians, as well as save lives.”
This makes Nigeria one of the seven countries that are receiving the package of screening, diagnostic, and treatment tools. The others include Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Philippines, and Vietnam.
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The donations from the United States agency include 38 Trunat machines for molecular tests to diagnose TB and drug-resistant TB, with 80,000 testing reagents and 10 high-tech portable digital x-ray systems with computer-aided detection software for use in hard-to-reach areas. Also, there is sufficient medicine to prevent TB progression in 21,000 patients.
Meanwhile, the agency said next year will see the provision of new tools for state-of-the-art screening for 500,000 persons, rapid molecular testing for about 80,000 persons, and ultimately diagnose 10,000 cases for treatment referral. It also said these new tools will be implemented in 18 states in the country through the USAID Tuberculosis Local Organisations Network (TB LON) activity.