ASR Africa, USAID Partner $500,000 Donation To Fight TB, HIV In Nigeria

Photo Caption: Ubon Udoh (right), Managing Director/CEO of the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa) signing documents for  the USD500,000 donation to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to fight Tuberculosis and HIV in Nigeria, , with Rachel Goldstein, USAID Office Director, HIV & Tuberculosis.

The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa), the brainchild of Industrialist, philanthropist, and founder of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, on Thursday said it is partnering the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with a donation of $500,000 to be drawn from the Annual ASR Africa Fund for Social Development and Renewal to fight tuberculosis (TB) and HIV in Nigeria.

Presenting the donation at a ceremony in Abuja, Ubon Udoh, Managing Director of ASR Africa, stressed ASR Africa’s commitment to the development of Nigeria’s healthcare sector stating that the end-to-end diagnosis to treatment partnership with USAID will provide additional capacity and expand ongoing efforts aimed at tackling tuberculosis and HIV across Nigeria.

This, ASR Africa noted, will include the provision of 11 loop-mediated isothermal amplification diagnostic machines, also known as TB-LAMPs, laboratory reagents and consumables, as well as 1,200 dignity kits for survivors of gender-based violence across selected states in Nigeria. In addition, 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 from where those diagnosed will be placed on treatment at the TB DOT centers to be renovated by ASR Africa.

Commenting on the partnership, Rabiu pledged that “ASR Africa will continue to invest its resources towards 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 gender-based violence, including medical and psycho-social services at Sexual Assault Rescue Centers, also known as SARCs that are supported through USAID’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program.”

On her part, Anne Patterson, the Mission Director, USAID Nigeria, represented by Rachel Goldstein, USAID Office Director for HIV & Tuberculosis, appreciated Rabiu, who is also the Executive Chairman of BUA Group, for invigorating the fight against Tuberculosis and HIV in the country.

The partnership with ASR Africa Initiative, she believes, will provide critical support to reducing the burden of the disease and ensure a better quality of life for those affected.

The statement said 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%.  Through PEPFAR, USAID is providing comprehensive life–saving HIV treatment services for over 663,000 people and procuring and delivering medicines for over 1.9 million Nigerians on antiretroviral treatment.

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