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USAID donates new tools, medications to help Vietnam close tuberculosis detection, treatment gaps

USAID donates new tools, medications to help Vietnam close tuberculosis detection, treatment gaps

Friday, February 18, 2022, 09:19 GMT+7
USAID donates new tools, medications to help Vietnam close tuberculosis detection, treatment gaps
USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock (center) and National Lung Hospital Director Dr. Nguyen Viet Nhung (third right) attend the handover ceremony held at the hospital in Hanoi, February 16, 2022. Photo: Vietnam’s National Tuberculosis Control Program

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday delivered new tuberculosis (TB) detection tools and treatment medications valued at roughly US$3 million to the National Lung Hospital of Vietnam in support of Vietnam’s goal to end TB by 2030, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said in a press release the same day.

USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock and National Lung Hospital Director Dr. Nguyen Viet Nhung marked the occasion in a ceremony held at the institution.

The donation consists of 38 rapid diagnostic machines with 90,000 compatible test kits and 10 digital X-ray devices to be distributed to district-level health facilities across the country, including those in Nghe An, Lai Chau, An Giang, and Dong Thap Provinces, which have a high burden of TB and multidrug-resistant TB. 

Both the rapid diagnostic machines and the X-ray devices are designed to operate in hard-to-reach areas. 

The rapid diagnostic machines, called Truenat, can perform on-the-spot detection of TB and drug-resistant TB in less than two hours and are battery powered. 

The digital X-ray devices are ultra-portable, with computer-aided TB detection software to assist in areas where radiologists may not be present. 

The donation also includes drugs to treat 15,000 patients with latent TB infection for three months, to be distributed nationwide. 

In addition, USAID is funding a tailored package of training curricula and technical support to the National Tuberculosis Program, health facility staff, and local partners. 

This will help ensure greater sustainability of efforts to enhance Vietnam’s active case detection, ensure accurate and timely diagnosis, and support linkages to treatment of active and latent TB.     

USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock speaks at the ceremony to hand over new TB detection tools and treatment medications to the National Lung Hospital of Vietnam in Hanoi, February 16, 2022. Photo: Vietnam’s National Tuberculosis Control Program

USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock speaks at the ceremony to hand over new TB detection tools and treatment medications to the National Lung Hospital of Vietnam in Hanoi, February 16, 2022. Photo: Vietnam’s National Tuberculosis Control Program

In Vietnam, approximately 40 percent of new TB cases go undetected and untreated every year, according to USAID. 

While TB is preventable and curable, 172,000 people develop TB and more than 10,000 people die from the disease every year in Vietnam, placing the Southeast Asian country among the top 30 nations with the highest TB burden in the world. 

The impacts of COVID-19 have severely reduced TB care and services, with TB detection in Vietnam decreasing 23.5 percent in the first ten months of 2021. 

To address this, USAID is also supporting the integration of TB screening within the government of Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.

Since 2018, USAID has provided Vietnam with over $16 million in TB health assistance. 

In continued partnership with the Vietnamese government, as well as in order to achieve the End TB goals by 2030, USAID pledges to continue to support the introduction of the latest high impact TB technologies and treatment medications as part of the ongoing partnership and solidarity between the United States and Vietnam.

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Bao Anh / Tuoi Tre News

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