ADDIS ABABA – The United States (U.S.) has donated through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), donated 46 cutting-edge tuberculosis (TB) testing machines worth one million USD to the people of Ethiopia.
In a press release sent to The Ethiopia Herald, the U.S. Embassy said that these new machines will reduce the time it takes to diagnose TB across the country from two days to two hours. These new machines called GeneXpert Tuberculosis Diagnostic Machines were handed over by the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, GeetaPasi, to the Ethiopian Minister of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse, at the Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency Compound yesterday.
“As long standing partners of the Ethiopian people, the American people are proud of this enormous step toward eliminating tuberculosis in Ethiopia once and for all,” said Ambassador Pasi.
Dr. Lia Tadesse said that TB currently kills 24,000 people per year in Ethiopia, which amounts to nearly 3 deaths every hour. But TB is both a treatable and preventable illness, and USAID is working in partnership with the Ethiopian people and the Federal Ministry of Health to eliminate this infectious scourge as fast as possible.
The 46 machines are part of USAID’s commitment to supporting the people of Ethiopia to find and successfully TB cases nationwide and the first step to eliminate the disease altogether. Today, epidemiologists estimate that there are roughly 160,000 cases of TB across Ethiopia. In addition to reducing the time it takes to diagnose TB from two days to two hours, the 46 new machines are also more accurate than routine, microscope-based methods.
Expressing gratitude to the U.S. administration, she said that the donation meant a lot for the people of Ethiopia in addressing the health problem throughout the country.
In September 2019, USAID signed a statement of partnership agreement with the Federal Ministry of Health to accelerate our joint effort to end TB. This event showcases that partnership and the donation of cutting-edge tuberculosis (TB) testing machines is just a part of the U.S. investment in Ethiopia.
BY HAILE DEMEKE
The Ethiopian Herald 9 September 2021