US provides equipment to Vietnam for early detection of TB

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The US Agency for International Development (USAID) donated equipment used to detect tuberculosis to the Vietnam National Tuberculosis Program (VNTP) on Monday, as part of a US$4 million project.

Early detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and resistance to the antibiotic drug rifampicin (known as Xpert MTB/RIF) used to treat it, will help control the transmission of TB, as it reduces the amount of time it takes to be detected from several months to just two hours.

According to USAID, they will provide the VNTP with 17 laboratory diagnostic tools and and more than 12,000 testing kits this year.

The $4 million TB Care I project, which aims to reduce the mortality rate of tuberculosis through early diagnosis and treatment, will be implemented within two years. It is funded by the USAID and the KNVC Tuberculosis Foundation.

According to the World Health Organization, Vietnam ranks 12th among 22 countries for the highest rates of TB in the world. Annually, 180,000 Vietnamese become infected with TB. However, less than 100,000 of those cases are detected in time to be treated.

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