TB on ‘Impressive Decline’ in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABEBA – Tuberculosis (TB) has continued to decline in Ethiopia with the United States’ support to health sector, said a U.S. aid .

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) marked the completion of its five-year Challenge TB project in the east African nation on Monday.

And it said the project has contributed to the “impressive decline” of the infectious disease in the country.

Challenge TB has “contributed to improvements in Ethiopia’s ability to detect, diagnose, and treat tuberculosis (TB) more effectively and save lives across all nine regions”, the agency said.

USAID invested 42 million USD, under the project, to improve the quality of TB care and prevention services. “As a result, TB deaths have dropped significantly as treatment success rates for TB patients rose to over 90 percent,” it said.

Over 75 percent of people suffering from deadly multi-drug-resistant TB are now able to beat the disease after completing their medication regimens, said the aid agency.

USAID’s Challenge TB specifically focused on improving the capacity of health workers to detect TB, provide more accurate diagnoses, and prescribe medications in a timely fashion.

That has helped patients begin immediate treatment and increase their chances of survival.

The United States is the largest bilateral provider of support to Ethiopia’s health sector, with approximately 150 million USD per year in funding for tuberculosis; HIV/AIDS and more.

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