Ethiopia: U.S. Government Donates TB Diagnostic Equipment to Four Regional Labs (May 2011)


On May 9, 2011, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Dr. Tulinabo Mushingi handed over state-of-the-art laboratory equipment to improve the diagnosis of Tuberculosis (TB), including multiple drug resistant TB, to regional public health labs in Oromia, Amhara, Tigray and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region. The equipment, valued at $805,000, was provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Despite Ethiopia’s significant progress in addressing a number of health challenges including HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria, the country still bears the eighth largest TB burden in the world and the third largest in Africa after Nigeria and South Africa. Multiple drug resistant TB poses devastating potential threats.

The new equipment will increase the number of labs in Ethiopia capable of testing and analyzing TB cultures from two to six. During the handover ceremony, Deputy Chief of Mission Mushingi noted, “the United States is strongly committed to support the Government of Ethiopia’s master plan for strengthening this country’s public health laboratory system.”

CDC-Ethiopia partners with the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI), which oversees all medical laboratories in Ethiopia, to provide laboratory training and technical assistance. The shared goal of the U.S. Government and EHNRI is to strengthen Ethiopia’s laboratory infrastructure and personnel capacity, enabling better response to diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, sexually transmitted and opportunistic infections, and malaria, among others. CDC-Ethiopia is also highly engaged in the implementation of laboratory quality assurance programs, as well as piloting and expanding laboratory information systems to facilitate a wide variety of laboratory services and quality patient care.

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