15th June, 2010
The US on Monday donated a multi-million dollar facility for the detection and treatment of tuberculosis to Nigeria The United States on Monday donated a multi-million dollar facility for the detection and treatment of tuberculosis to Nigeria, where around 400,000 people suffer from the disease.
Located on the outskirts of the northern city of Zaria, the facility includes a state-of-the-art bio-safety laboratory and a medical staff training centre as well as clinics for people living with HIV and AIDS.â€
This facility can train large numbers of people to diagnose tuberculosis,â€ Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on the ocassion.
â€It can also improve the quality of the testing done for people with HIV around the country,â€ he told AFP after a tour of the four-block facility.â€
For Nigeria, this is a new facility to increase its ability to diagnose and treat those with tuberculosis and HIV,â€ added Frieden, who is on a five-day visit to the country.
Nigeria, Africaâ€™s most populous nation, is ranked fourth among the 22 countries with the worldâ€™s highest tuberculosis prevalence, with around 400,000 sufferers.
It also has one of the worldâ€™s highest HIV burden with a prevalence rate of 4.5 percent and more than three million people infected with HIV, according to official figures.
The project was executed with funds from the US presidentâ€™s Emergency Programme for AIDS Relief initiated in 2003 to curb the ravaging effects of HIV in 15 countries in the world including Nigeria, Frieden said.
Germfree, the US-based firm that built the facility, will maintain the laboratory for the next five years and train local personnel.For this year, the US government has provided Nigeria with more than 533 million dollars to support health-related programmes and services, a statement by the US embassy in Nigeria said.