The United States Agency for International Development has donated $3.3m in commodities to the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme as part of a broader ‘New Tools Project-Nigeria’.
The agency said the initiative would help the NTBLCP officials to find more missing TB cases and help Nigeria sustain an upward trajectory for TB case-finding in line with global targets.
Nigeria reported 138,600 tuberculosis patients in 2020, up from 120,266 in 2019, a 15 per cent increase over 2019.
“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 and save lives,” USAID Mission Director Anne Patterson said in a statement on Monday.
According to the statement titled, ‘USAID donates $3.3m in ‘New Tools’ to Nigeria’s National Tuberculosis Programme’, the donation included 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.
It also included “enough medicines to prevent TB progression in 21,000 patients.”
The statement said, “In the next year, 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.
These new tools will be implemented in 18 states in the country through the USAID Tuberculosis Local Organisations Network activity.”
Nigeria is one of seven countries receiving the package of screening, diagnostic and treatment tools. The others are Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Philippines and Vietnam.