US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller has visited an icddr,b tuberculosis screening centre located at Dholaikhal in the city's old part and commended the icddr,b- USAID initiative, reports UNB.
"I'm honoured to visit this facility and dedicated staff. The work being done here is life saving and life changing. The US government is proud to be associated with this extraordinary programme," he said during his visit there on Wednesday.
Under the National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP), icddr,b is operating 10 TB screening centres in Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet through an innovative sustainable social enterprise model, said icddr,b on Thursday.
Of these centres, two are supported by USAID's Challenge TB Project.
Ambassador Miller was accompanied by the USAID Bangladesh Mission Director Derrick S Brown and Director of OPHNE, USAID Bangladesh Caroll Vasquez.
They were welcomed at the centre by icddr,b's Executive Director Professor John D Clemens and Challenge TB Project's Chief of Party Dr Oscar Cordon.
Dr Sayera Banu, Senior Scientist and Head of Programme on Emerging Infections at icddr,b, briefed the US ambassador and his companions regarding screening and treatment procedures at the centre, alongside its state-of-the-art diagnosis facilities.
The challenge to identify missing TB cases and how the social enterprise model is performing incredibly well to address this was also covered.
This model is successfully providing screening and treatment services because of its flexible operational timing, subsidised digital chest X-rays and free of cost sputum GeneXpert tests allowing it to reach a broader section of the community.
Additionally, patients are provided free of charge glucometry and HbA1c if found to have raised blood sugar level.
Private physicians play a significant role in referring presumptive TB patients to this centre.
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