Addis Ababa –United States Agency for International Development (USAID) donated 126 cutting-edge GeneXpert tuberculosis (TB) testing machines worth $3 million (157.7 million Birr) to Ethiopia.
A press statement sent to Addis Standard by the US Embassy in Addis Abeba says the donation “will make a significant contribution towards the government of Ethiopia’s efforts to quickly and effectively identify and diagnose TB and multi drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases”.
The new machines will reduce the time it takes to diagnose TB from two days to two hours and from two months to two hours for MDR-TB the statement added.
Ambassador Tracey Ann Jacobson, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Abeba, handed over the 126 GeneXpert machines to Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse, at St. Peter’s Tuberculosis Hospital on Friday 04 November.
According to the statement, Ethiopia is among the 30 countries worldwide with the highest burden of tuberculosis and TB/HIV co-infection and having 19,000 registered TB caused deaths in 2021 alone. This amounts to nearly three Ethiopians dying from TB every hour of every day, the statement added.
Ethiopia’s health minister while receiving the donations said, the “machines that we are receiving today from USAID will hugely contribute to narrowing the access gap to rapid molecular TB diagnostics in the country”. AS