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icddr,b expands USAID’s Alliance for combating TB

Health Desk: The icddr,b expands the USAID’s Alliance for Combating Tuberculosis (TB) in Bangladesh project operations in tea garden areas to ramp up identification and management of TB cases.

An inauguration meeting was held today at Kamalganj, Moulvibazar in the presence of Professor Dr M Shamiul Islam, Director, Mycobacterial Disease Control (MBDC) and Line Director TBL and ASP, NTP, DGHS and Derrick S. Brown, Mission Director, USAID, said a press release.

icddr,b has been implementing the USAID’s Alliance for Combating Tuberculosis in Bangladesh (ACTB) project in collaboration with the National TB Control Programme (NTP) under Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) since March 2020.

Recently, icddr,b has partnered with one of the largest local development partners HEED Bangladesh to ramp up the diagnosis and management of TB cases in tea garden areas of Sylhet Division.

Recent data from NTP shows that tuberculosis – a highly infectious disease remains a major public health threat in the country. In the first six months of this year (Jan-Jun 2020) 99,000 TB cases were reported. An estimated 247 cases per day remain undetected due to asymptomatic condition or lack of access to the screening of the disease.

On the occasion, Professor Islam said, “Detection of tuberculosis becomes a challenge during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, I believe this partnership will not only raise awareness about the disease but also will help detect more cases and reduce the burden among tea garden workers and in the local communities.”

Among others, Xerses Sidhwa, PHNE Director, USAID; Dr. Pushpita Samina, Clinical Services Lead, USAID; Dr. Paul Daru, Chief of Party, ACTB, icddr,b and Dr. Shahriar Ahmed, Project Coordinator, ACTB, icddr,b also spoke on the occasion.

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