The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), on October 20, 2022 accepted a contribution from a leading Nigerian philanthropic organisation, Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa), to partner on tuberculosis (TB) control and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention efforts in Nigeria.
A press statement by the US Mission, Friday, said: “ASR Africa will provide critical inputs, valued at $500,000, to the national TB and GBV responses. These contributions will expand the impact of USAID’s current programs, implemented through local Nigerian organisations.
“Specifically, ASR Africa’s contribution will provide: 11 loop-mediated isothermal amplification diagnostic machines, also known as TB-LAMPs, with laboratory reagents and consumables; renovation of 10 Tuberculosis Directly Observed Therapy or DOT centers; and approximately 1,200 dignity kits for survivors of gender-based violence across selected states in Nigeria.
“The TB-LAMP diagnostic machines will enable 11 facilities to effectively diagnose TB, which continues to be a challenge in under-resourced health facilities. All individuals diagnosed with these machines will be placed on treatment for TB at the TB DOT centers that will be renovated by ASR Africa.
“The contribution of dignity kits will also strengthen services for survivors of gender-based violence, including medical and psycho-social services, at Sexual Assault Rescue Centers, also known as SARCs, that are supported through USAID’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programme ” the statement read in part.
Accordung to the statement, “As part of USAID’s efforts to deepen private sector involvement in Nigeria, the Agency engages with private sector partners in the country to mobilize resources to reduce disease burden and ensure a better quality of life for those affected.
“The private sector holds immense potential to bring about sustainable development results,” HIV/AIDS and TB Office Director USAID/Nigeria, Rachel Goldstein said at the gift acceptance meeting in Abuja. “Each of ASR Africa’s contributions will amplify the impact of USAID’s development programming in Nigeria while demonstrating the opportunity for public-private partnerships to effectively address unmet development needs.”
Presenting the donation letter, Managing Director of ASR Africa, Ubon Udoh, said “ASR Africa is committed to the development of Nigeria’s healthcare sector. The end-to-end diagnosis to treatment partnership with USAID will provide additional capacity and expand ongoing efforts aimed at tackling tuberculosis and HIV across Nigeria.”
USAID has partnered with the government of Nigeria on the tuberculosis response since 2000, and the HIV response since 2003.
Through these efforts, USAID has contributed to a reduction in tuberculosis related deaths, by nearly 50 per cent; just as it is providing comprehensive life–saving HIV treatment services for over 663,000 people and procuring and delivering medicines for over 1.9 million Nigerians on antiretroviral treatment through President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).