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First One-Stop TB Service Center opened in Dhaka to treat all forms of tuberculosis

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 21st September, 2021 05:01:22 PM
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First One-Stop TB Service Center opened in Dhaka to treat all forms of tuberculosis

Country’s first One-Stop tuberculosis (TB) service center equipped with the state-of-the-art testing and laboratory equipment facility was formally opened at Shyamoli in the capital on Tuesday to test, diagnose and treat all forms of tuberculosis under one roof.

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller joined Minister of Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Mission Director Randy Ali to inaugurate the country’s first one-stop tuberculosis (TB) service center.

With USAID’s support, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s National TB Programme has transformed the 250-bed TB hospital in Shyamoli into the premier center to treat TB by equipping the facility with state-of-the-art testing and laboratory equipment, said the US Embassy. 

USAID’s Alliance for Combating TB project also trained a specialised pool of doctors to detect and diagnose the disease—especially multi-drug-resistant TB, and to provide safe and effective treatment for all forms of TB to patients on site.

As a result, TB patients no longer need referrals to travel to another facility and are able to begin treatment regimens quickly and more easily following their diagnosis—improving their chances of beating the disease. 

With USAID support, the National TB Program will open four more one-stop TB service centers across the country in the next several years.

“We are pleased to open the doors to this impressive one-stop TB center and help protect the lives of many who are fighting this disease.  This is part of our shared vision between the United States and Bangladesh in helping people across this country strive for healthier and more prosperous lives for themselves and their families,” said Ambassador Miller.

“Improving access to critical testing and treatment services for all forms of TB—especially multi-drug-resistant strains of the disease—will help Bangladesh cure many more people through timely treatment while preventing new infections,” said USAID Deputy Mission Director Randy Ali.

Over the past ten years, the United States has invested more than $100 million to advance tuberculosis control efforts in Bangladesh and donated 72 GeneXpert rapid TB testing machines to increase detection and treatment rates, and put positive cases under immediate treatment. 

Through USAID, the US government has provided more than $8 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since its independence. Additionally, the US government has committed $96 million of assistance from multiple agencies to support COVID-19 response efforts. 

In 2020, USAID provided over $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh through programmes that expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and increase resilience to climate change.