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Sunday, February 5, 2023
Home#263ChatBoost For Zim Fight Against TB As US Pledge Continued Support

Boost For Zim Fight Against TB As US Pledge Continued Support

United States government has vowed to stand with the people of Zimbabwe in fighting Tuberculosis  ahead of the World Tuberculosis (TB) Day commemorated on March 24 every year.

Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the United States has contributed substantively to Zimbabwe’s fight against TB.

USAID Mission Director, Stephanie Funk said United States is proud to stand with the people of Zimbabwe to address the issue of TB.

“Together with our partners, USAID is working hard to ensure that TB patients can start treatment earlier, recover more quickly, and not spread the disease to others,” said Funk.

USAID started its TB program in 2008, partnering with Zimbabwe’s National TB Control Program and The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) to increase the availability of TB services and strengthen TB case detection and management.

Funk also said that the USAID provides hospital laboratories with Gene Xpert equipment for fast and accurate diagnosis of TB, particularly drug-resistant TB, as well as training for health care workers to properly use the equipment.

“USAID supports 45 integrated TB-HIV care sites to improve TB diagnosis and treatment for people living with HIV.  USAID also supports a motorbike specimen transport system called Riders for Health that carries approximately 150,000 specimens per year, 40,000 of which are sputa for TB diagnosis.  This transport system has dramatically reduced the time it takes for patients to receive TB test results – from weeks or even months, down to one week in rural areas and one day in urban areas.

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“In addition, through USAID support, The Union has developed and distributed a TB screening tool that reaches over 500,000 patients per year, provided training and supervision assistance for health care workers on TB prevention and care information, and supported the National TB Reference Laboratory to process TB cultures from specimens from all provinces in the country,” said Funk.

CDC also provides financial and technical support for TB through Health Care Associated Tuberculosis Infection Prevention Project – Zimbabwe (HATIPP-Zim), a program aimed at developing a TB screening policy for health care workers and standardize implementation at health facilities.

Funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), HATIPP-Zim is implemented by a consortium of organisations including Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI); Infection Control Association of Zimbabwe (ICAZ); and The Union.

 

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Journalist based in Harare

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