Four more centres to be opened over next several years
The country’s first one-stop tuberculosis (TB) service centre opened at Dhaka’s Shyamoli on Tuesday.
US Ambassador Earl R Miller and Minister of Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque inaugurated the centre, located at the 250-bed TB hospital.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s National TB Program transformed the hospital into the premier TB treatment centre in the country by equipping it with state-of-the-art testing and laboratory equipment, according to a press release from the US Embassy in Dhaka.
The centre was setup with support from USAID, and USAID’s Alliance for Combating TB project trained a specialized pool of doctors to work there.
With the opening of the centre, TB patients will no longer need to travel from facility to facility for their treatment needs. The National TB Program plans to open four more one-stop TB service centres across the country over the next several years.
“We are pleased to open the doors to this impressive one-stop TB center and help protect the lives of many who are fighting this disease. This is part of our shared vision between the United States and Bangladesh in helping people across this country strive for healthier and more prosperous lives for themselves and their families,” said Ambassador Miller.
“Improving access to critical testing and treatment services for all forms of TB—especially multi-drug-resistant strains of the disease—will help Bangladesh cure many more people through timely treatment while preventing new infections,” said USAID Deputy Mission Director Randy Ali.
Over the past ten years, the United States has invested more than $100 million to advance tuberculosis control efforts in Bangladesh and donated 72 GeneXpert rapid TB testing machines to increase detection and treatment rates and put positive cases under immediate treatment.