US envoy lauds TB screening centre of icddr,b

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DHAKA, March 14, 2019 (BSS) – The US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller
visited an icddr,b tuberculosis screening centre in Dholaikhal, on Wednesday

Under the National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP), icddr,b is
operating 10 TB screening centres in Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet through an
innovative sustainable social enterprise model. Of these centres, two are
supported by USAID’s Challenge TB Project, said a press release here today.

Ambassador Miller was accompanied by the USAID Bangladesh Mission Director
Derrick S Brown and Director of OPHNE, USAID Bangladesh Caroll Vasquez.

They were welcomed at the centre by icddr,b’s Executive Director Professor
John D Clemens and the Challenge TB Project’s Chief of Party Dr Oscar Cordon.

Dr Sayera Banu, Senior Scientist and Head of Programme on Emerging
Infections at icddr,b briefed ambassador Miller and his companions regarding
screening and treatment procedures at the centre, alongside its state of the
art diagnosis facilities.

This model is successfully providing screening and treatment services
because of its flexible operational timing, subsidized digital chest X-rays
and free of cost sputum GeneXpert tests allowing it to reach a broader
section of the community.

Additionally, patients are provided free of charge glucometry and HbA1c if
found to have raised blood sugar level. Private physicians play a significant
role in referring presumptive TB patients to this centre.

Ambassador Miller commended the icddr,b-USAID initiative, saying “I am
honored to visit this facility and dedicated staff. The work being done here
is life saving and life changing. The U.S. Government is proud to be
associated with this extraordinary programme.”

Dr Sayera appreciated Miller’s interest in visiting a TB screening centre,
she said, “Just a few weeks ahead of the World TB Day, on March 24, the
Ambassador’s visit to a TB screening and treatment centre will definitely
provide encouragement to the entire workforce engaged in this life saving
work. Additionally, it will help raise awareness about this global epidemic
of tuberculosis.”

The visiting delegation also met with few patients and staff at the TB
screening centre.

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