The U.S.A, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has donated tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic laboratory equipment worth TZS 424,361,043 – about $182,993 – to 19 health facilities in Tanzania.
The equipment comprises eight GeneXpert machines and 11 iLED microscopes.
According to a statement released by APO on Sunday, the health facilities are in Katavi, Kigoma, Rukwa, and Songwe regions of the country.
“These four regions are supported by USAID’s Uhuru TB and Family Planning Facility Solutions Activity for Local Organizations Network (TB & FP LON),” the statement said.
It added that the equipment will strengthen TB diagnostic capacity which will ultimately result in an increase in TB cases identification and hence contribute to TB control in Tanzania.
With quick diagnosis of the disease and early initiation of treatment, the donation is also expected to help Tanzania realise its mission to end tuberculosis by 2030.
Tanzania Health Promotion Support (THPS) Executive Director, Dr. Redempta Mbatia, transferred the equipment to Songwe Regional Commissioner, Hon. Omary Mgumba, who received them on behalf of all four regions.
Tanzania ranks among the 30 highest TB burden countries in the world. Prior to the donation, Katavi, Kigoma, Rukwa, and Songwe regions had only 16 GeneXpert machines and 13 iLED microscopes serving a population of nearly 6 million.
Speaking about the event, USAID Mission Director, V. Kate Somvongsiri said “The eight GeneXpert machines and 11 iLED microscopes are part of USAID’s ongoing commitment to strengthen tuberculosis laboratory services in Tanzania. These equipment are expected to increase identification of TB patients with an emphasis on reaching marginalized populations and reducing inequities in TB services. In order to realize the country’s mission to end tuberculosis by 2030, patients should be identified in a timely manner and treatment initiated early.”
THPS, a Tanzanian non-governmental organization, is implementing this activity in collaboration with Baylor Tanzania, MKUTA, and Ifakara Health Institute. THPS works in partnership with the MOHCDGEC and PORALG, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health in Zanzibar to ensure accessible high-quality health care services to Tanzanians. Their work includes strengthening health and community systems for comprehensive quality health services which address HIV/AIDS; tuberculosis; prevention of gender-based violence; reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health services; and laboratory and health management information systems.
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