United States and Zambia Make Gains in Fight Against Tuberculosis

Lusaka. May 15, 2015.

LUSAKA — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, and the Ministry of Home Affairs gathered to mark the culmination of the TB CARE I project. Jointly funded by USAID and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), TB CARE I was a collaborative activity between the United States and Zambian governments to reduce the burden of tuberculosis (TB) by providing the latest diagnostic technologies and training for increased TB detection and treatment.

“Over the past five years our partnership has directly reached close to three million people, even in the most rural areas of the country, with information and services for TB control,” said USAID Senior Health Advisor Dr. George Sinyangwe.

In the 2010 World Health Organization Global Tuberculosis Report, Zambia was listed as having one of the world’s highest rates of new cases of TB, with more than 300 infected per 100,000 people that year. In response, the United States and Zambian governments partnered to launch TB CARE I, which provided training for more than 3,000 health care workers, including more than 600 laboratory staff at 144 TB diagnostic facilities. The training in TB control focused on microscopy, quality assurance, and ways to forecast commodity needs and to maintain new lab equipment. The project also renovated 24 facilities, including two reference laboratories, the National Reference Laboratory/Chest Diseases Laboratory, and the Tropical Diseases Research Centre.

The TB CARE I project represents a USAID/PEPFAR investment of more than $17 million towards TB control in six Zambian provinces: Central, Copperbelt, Luapula, Muchinga, Northern, and North Western. TB CARE I has contributed to raising the success in treatment from 85% in 2012 to 90% in 2014. The project officially culminates on May 31, 2015.