United States Delivers Renovated Tuberculosis Ward at Zambia's University Teaching Hospital

U.S. Ambassador Daniel L. Foote (lc) and Zambia's Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilifya (cr) on a tour during the handover of the new TB Ward.
U.S. Ambassador Daniel L. Foote and Zambia's Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilifya on a tour during the handover of the new TB Ward.
Photo: Lindsay K. Saunders / USAID Zambia

Funded by USAID Challenge TB, the newly refurbished TB Ward offers more effective institutional care for patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis

For Immediate Release

Thursday, August 9, 2018
Chando Mapoma
+2601 357299

Lusaka – Zambia’s Minister of Health, the Honorable Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, officially received the newly renovated Tuberculosis Ward from the United States Ambassador to Zambia, Mr. Daniel L. Foote, during a formal handover ceremony at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH).

With over $466,000 in funding provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Challenge TB project, the renovation came about as a result of Zambia’s 2016 National TB Program evaluation, which found that the conditions of the original facility put health workers, patients, and visitors at serious risk for infection.  With quality infection prevention and control mechanisms in place, the new center will ensure that patients are monitored and treated in a safe environment.

“The United States Government is honored to be a partner in Zambia’s success toward TB control,” said Ambassador Foote. “It is encouraging to see how access to free TB diagnostic services has improved, with every district in Zambia having at least one diagnostic center with modern diagnostic technologies.”

Since 2004, through various partnerships and projects including USAID Challenge TB, the U.S. government has provided $180 million to Zambia for TB control.  This funding has been used for training health care workers, staffing health facilities, renovating infrastructure, procuring equipment and supplies, and supporting TB occupational research.

The new UTH TB Ward, which now offers more effective institutional care for patients with drug-resistant TB, is fully equipped to help ensure that both patients and caregivers are protected from cross infections. With a 54-bed capacity and equipped with separate patient, staff, and visitor wings, the new facility incorporates various infection control measures, including fans to extract potentially infectious airdrops, germicidal ultraviolet irradiation to kill infectious TB particles, and personal protective equipment.

Despite impressive gains, Zambia has struggled to identify and treat cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis, with only a quarter of drug-resistant TB cases being identified. Unfortunately, unidentified cases continue to spread and those on treatment only have a 30 percent chance of being successfully treated.

The United States will continue to partner with Zambia and its neighbors to accelerate the elimination of TB.  Through USAID, the U.S. is also supporting renovations at the National Chest Disease Laboratory in Lusaka, the Kabwe Hospital, and Mansa General Hospital.

About USAID Challenge TB

On behalf of the American People, USAID Challenge TB supports Zambia’s goal of reducing the prevalence and incidence of tuberculosis to levels where TB ceases to be a major public health threat in Zambia.  The project is implemented by a consortium of partners, including the KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation and FHI360.

Last updated: August 10, 2018

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