By Asmau Ahmad
The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa), has donated 500,000 dollars to USAID to strengthen fight against Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Nigeria.
ASR Africa, which is partnering the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on the project, would have the donation drawn from the Annual ASR Africa Fund for Social Development and Renewal.
Managing Director of ASR Africa, Mr Ubon Udoh, who presented the donation award letter at a ceremony on Thursday in Abuja, said the initiative was committed to the development of Nigeria’s healthcare sector.
He said the end-to-end diagnosis-to-treatment partnership with USAID, would provide additional capacity and expand efforts at tackling TB and HIV across Nigeria.
Udoh said the effort would include provision of 11 loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification Diagnostic machines, also known as TB-LAMPs as well as laboratory reagents and consumables.
“About 10 Tuberculosis Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) centres will be renovated across the country.
“The TB-LAMP diagnostic machines will enable 11 facilities to effectively diagnose TB, which continues to be a challenge in under-resourced health facilities across Nigeria.
“Meanwhile, those diagnosed will be placed on treatment at the TB DOT centres to be renovated by ASR Africa,” he said.
Udoh said besides TB and HIV, the initiative would also provide 1, 200 dignity kits for survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) across selected states in Nigeria.
Abdul Samad Rabiu, founder of ASR Africa, thanked USAID for the partnership.
“ASR Africa will continue to invest its resources toward tackling pressing developmental issues in health, education and social development across Africa in line with its mandate.
“ASR Africa’s contribution of dignity kits will also strengthen services for survivors of GBV.
“This includes medical and psycho-social services at Sexual Assault Rescue Centres (SARCs) that are supported through USAID’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Programme,” he said.
Ms Anne Patterson, Mission Director, USAID Nigeria, thanked Abdul Samad Rabiu for reinvigorating the fight against TB and HIV in Nigeria.
Patterson, who was represented by Rachel Goldstein, USAID Office Director for HIV & Tuberculosis, said the partnership with ASR Africa would provide support in reducing the burden of the diseases.
He also said the partnership would ensure better quality of life for those affected.
USAID has partnered with the government of Nigeria on the tuberculosis response since 2000, and the HIV response since 2003.
This has contributed to a reduction in tuberculosis-related deaths, by nearly 50 per cent.
Through PEPFAR, USAID is providing comprehensive life–saving HIV treatment services for more than 663,000 people and procuring and delivering medicines for over 1.9 million Nigerians on antiretroviral treatment.
ASR Africa is the brainchild of Industrialist, philanthropist, and founder of BUA Group, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu.
It was established in 2021 to provide sustainable, impact-based homegrown solutions to developmental issues affecting health, education and social development in Africa.