U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Geeta Pasi handed over the GeneXpert machines to Health Minister, Dr. Lia Tadesse at the premises of the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Agency.
Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse on the occasion prized the U.S. Government for the donation stating that it will contribute to enhance tuberculosis testing coverage across the country.
Lia said the donated machines will contribute to the ministry’s 5-year strategy to reach 1000 Woredas with TB testing machines that has a gap of 700 machines to achieve the target.
Ethiopia reduced tuberculosis incident and mortality burden by over 27 percent between 2015 and 2020, but it still has over 157,000 TB incidents per year and the detection rate remains at 71 percent, the minister pointed out.
“This is the latest detection rate we have had. So it shows that we are living behind around 29 percent of those cases not detected and untreated,” she added.
U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Geeta Pasi on her part expressed the U.S. government’s commitment to continue investing in Ethiopia through USAID, particularly in the health sector.
Stating that tuberculosis currently kills 24,000 people per year in Ethiopia, which amounts to nearly 3 deaths every hour, Geeta Pasi said: “So I can’t think over more important thing we can do in one hour than handing over these machines and hopefully contribute to early diagnosis and treatment.”
The donated machines will reduce the time it takes to diagnose tuberculosis in the country from 2 days to 2 hours, the ambassador added.