USAID donates $3.3m in commodities for a new health program to fight TB in Nigeria



By Joy Odor

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated  $3.3 million in commodities to the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health’s National TB and Leprosy Control Program (NTBLCP) as part of a broader “New Tools Project-Nigeria.

The donations included 38 “Trunat” machines for molecular tests to diagnose TB and drug-resistant TB with 80,000 testing reagents and ten high-tech portable digital x-ray systems with computer-aided detection software for use in hard-to-reach areas.

The donation also included enough medicines to prevent TB progression in 21,000 patients.

According to the USAID Mission Director, Anna Patterson in a press statement in Abuja, the initiative will help NTBLCP officials find more missing TB cases and help Nigeria sustain an upward trajectory for TB case-finding in line with global targets.

She explained that Nigeria reported 138,600 TB patients in 2020, up from 120,266 in 2019 (a 15 percent increase over 2019).

Anna Patterson noted that the US is  committed to working closely with the Government of Nigeria in expanding early detection and reducing the number of TB cases in the country, saying these tools will make TB primary care more accessible to many Nigerians and save lives.

In the next year, she said, the new tools promise to provide 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.

Anna Patterson said the new tools will be implemented in 18 states in the country through the USAID Tuberculosis Local Organizations Network (TB LON) activity.

USAID Mission Director, opined that Nigeria is one of seven countries receiving the package of screening, diagnostic, and treatment tools.

The others include Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Philippines, and Vietnam.

Leave a Reply