U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and in partnership with the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR) has handed over ten renovated Tuberculosis (TB) facilities and diagnostic equipment to the Government of Nigeria according to the United States of America Embassy. It said “these renovated facilities, located in Lagos, Anambra, Oyo, Rivers, Kano, Bauchi and Katsina states, will provide life-saving services to patients for TB screening and treatment. Nigeria faces a significant health challenge with a triple burden of TB, drug-resistant TB, and HIV-associated TB, placing it among the top 10 countries globally with the highest number of undetected TB cases globally. Ranking first in Africa and sixth worldwide, Nigeria accounts for 4.6 percent of the global TB burden. The country witnesses approximately 11 deaths every hour due to TB, amounting to nearly 264 deaths daily, over 8,160 monthly, and reaching 98,000 annually.
“In 2022, USAID addressed Nigeria’s needs in TB care by accepting a $500,000 contribution from ASR Africa, focusing on TB control and gender-based violence. This contribution aligns with USAID’s broader $78 million, five-year TB Local Organisation Network Activity, aimed at detecting, treating, and reporting TB cases. Utilising ASR Africa’s funds, USAID provided 11 TB Lamp diagnostic machines, along with laboratory supplies. ASR Africa renovated 10 Tuberculosis Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) centers; and distributed over 2,000 dignity kits to gender-based violence (GBV) survivors across seven selected Nigerian states, including Kano, Katsina, Bauchi, Lagos, Oyo, Rivers, and Anambra. The TB-LAMP diagnostic machines have enabled facilities to effectively diagnose TB and all individuals diagnosed with these machines have been placed on treatment for TB at the TB DOT centers renovated by ASR Africa. The contribution of dignity kits has also strengthened services for GBV survivors that are supported through USAID’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program.
“USAID has partnered with the Government of Nigeria and private sector on the TB response since 2003. Through these efforts, USAID has contributed to a reduction in tuberculosis related deaths by nearly 50 percent. Speaking at the newly renovated Akinyele Primary Health Center, in Alimosho, Lagos, USAID/Nigeria Deputy Director HIV/AIDS and TB Office, Omosalewa Oyelaran remarked, “This partnership demonstrates how the private sector holds immense potential to catalyze sustainable results. USAID actively engages with private sector partners in Nigeria in the drive towards mobilizing resources to counter diseases of public concern such as TB and to improve quality of life among affected populations.”
“ASR Managing Director/CEO Dr. Ubon Udoh also delivered remarks at today’s handover ceremony. Speaking on behalf of the Chairman of ASR Africa Abdul Samad Rabiu, Dr. Udoh applauded the USAID team for their intervention and their partnership with the Government of Nigeria in the eradication of tuberculosis in the country. He noted that with the installation of the TB machines, over 22,100 samples have already been taken in all the centers combined, out of which confirmed positive cases are receiving expert treatment. Dr. Udoh reiterated the commitment of the Chairman of ASR Africa in investing resources towards tackling pressing developmental issues in health, education and social development in Africa”.