iStock image

The US announced a $57 million (£46 m) aid for seven Tuberculosis (TB) affected countries including Bangladesh on Friday (4).

In the wake of the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on TB services, this assistance will strengthen simultaneous testing for both tuberculosis and Covid-19, identify cases through contact investigations and community screenings, a media release said.

The aid of $57 million (£46 m) will be shared with India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa, Tajikistan and Ukraine.

The USAID said alongside Covid-19, TB is the leading infectious disease killer, particularly in low and middle-income countries, sickening 10 million people and taking 1.4 million lives every year.

This commitment represents approximately 19 per cent of the USAID’s annual TB funding, the agency said.

The US agency said due to the far-reaching impact of coronavirus, TB is projected to sicken 6.3 million more people with an additional 1.4 million deaths by 2025.

The pandemic toll puts the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations at even more risk, it said, adding that those suffering from both Covid-19 and TB are about three times more likely to die than those with the only TB.

As the world’s largest bilateral donor leading the fight to end tuberculosis, the USAID remains committed to addressing both diseases, ultimately helping countries get back on track by putting 40 million people on TB treatment by 2022, it said.