For Immediate Release
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Office of Press Relations
Email: [email protected]
Two years ago at the United Nations General Assembly, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Global Accelerator to End Tuberculosis (TB), our new business model for fighting the world’s deadliest infectious disease. Alongside Heads of State from countries where TB is most prevalent and other partners, USAID committed to the ambitious goal of diagnosing and enrolling an additional 40 million people on TB treatment by 2022.
Over the past two years, the Accelerator has made impressive progress in building national commitment and capacity to respond to TB. Through the Accelerator, USAID has signed TB Partnership Statements for stronger collaboration and transparency with Ministries of Health in 18 countries; embedded technical advisors in 24 National TB Programs; and directly invested in 33 local organizations, including community and faith-based groups, to empower those most affected. In addition, USAID has increased our funding to support 31 grassroots organizations in 13 countries through grants under the Challenge Facility for Civil Society.
In line with USAID’s work to advance the Journey to Self-Reliance in partner countries, the Accelerator’s approach prioritizes building strong and sustainable local institutions, which are on the ground and more readily available to help communities respond to TB. The Accelerator’s local partners have taken on increased importance in supporting the continuation of TB care during the pandemic of COVID-19, as many government health facilities have shut down.
As the world comes together in fighting COVID-19, it is important to prevent a reversal in our efforts to end TB. COVID-19 and its related lockdowns and disruptions are projected to set progress in fighting TB back at least five years — which will result in more undiagnosed and untreated TB cases and further the spread of the disease and the strain it puts on families, communities, and countries.
Because of this threat, the Accelerator’s approach to build local solutions and develop more effective and efficient interventions is more important than ever. As the U.S. Government’s lead Agency on efforts to eliminate TB around the globe, USAID will continue to build national capacity to recover from COVID-19’s setbacks and end TB.