The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said it has accepted and entered into a partnership from with the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa) on tuberculosis (TB) control and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention efforts in Nigeria.
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 programmes, implemented through local Nigerian organisations. Specifically, ASR Africa’s contribution will provide loop-mediated isothermal amplification diagnostic machines (also known as TB-LAMPs) with laboratory reagents and consumables, renovation of 10 tuberculosis directly observed therapy (DOT) centres 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 centres 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 centres (SARCs) supported through USAID’s PEPFAR programme.
As part of USAID’s efforts to deepen private sector involvement in Nigeria, the agency engages with private sector partners in the country to mobilise 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, 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 been in partnership 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. Through PEPFAR, USAID is now providing comprehensive life-saving HIV treatment services for over 663,000 people and procuring and delivering medicines for over 1.9 million Nigerians on anti-retroviral treatment.