The assistance of the United States has contributed to improvements in Ethiopia’s ability to detect, diagnose, and treat tuberculosis (TB) more effectively and save lives across all nine regions of the country.
The U.S. has marked the completion of its five-year Challenge TB project in Ethiopia. Under this program, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) invested $42 million to improve the quality of TB care and prevention services, enabling patients to receive better access to treatment and medication to fight the infection.
As a result, TB deaths have dropped significantly as treatment success rates for TB patients rose to over 90 percent, with 75 percent of those suffering from deadly multi-drug-resistant TB now able to beat the disease after completinministry of healthg their medication regimens, according to the press statement from the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia ranks third in Africa and eighth among the 22 highest tuberculosis (TB) burdened countries in the world, according to the World Health Organization. The prevalence of all forms of TB is estimated at 261 per 100 000 population, leading to an annual mortality rate of 64 per 100 000 population.
USAID’s Challenge TB project has been supporting Ethiopia’s Health Sector Transformation Plan and working closely with the Ministry of Health and regional health bureaus in all areas of the country to strengthen the national TB program. The project specifically focused on improving the capacity of health workers to detect TB, provide more accurate diagnoses, and prescribe medications in a timely fashion to help patients begin immediate treatment and increase their chances of survival.
USAID’s Challenge TB project was implemented by KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, along with Management Sciences for Health and the World Health Organization (WHO), in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
The United States is the largest bilateral provider of support to Ethiopia’s health sector, with approximately $150 million per year in funding for tuberculosis; HIV/AIDS; malaria; maternal, neonatal and child health; nutrition; and water, sanitation and hygiene. Overall, the United States has provided approximately $4 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia over the past five years.