German & Swiss Embassies support APOPO’s work in Tanzania

APOPO has partnered with the Embassies of Switzerland and Germany in Tanzania to expand its TB screening program in Morogoro region and to Dodoma region, increasing the number of partner clinics by 29 to a total of 57 in Tanzania.

The Swiss and German funding of €43,000 and €15,500 respectively for the next one and a half years will support the expansion of the screening program to Dodoma and create partnerships with 8 hospitals in the city, serving 100% of the TB patients in the city. APOPO through its partner the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Program (NTLP) will also expand to 17 new hospitals in Dar es Salaam, 8 new hospitals in Dodoma and 4 new hospitals in Morogoro, namely in Kilombero, Mikumi, Kilosa and Turiani.

In 2016, the number of deaths from tuberculosis rose to an estimated 1.7 million worldwide, while 10.4 million people fell ill with the disease. Tuberculosis is still the leading cause of death from an infectious disease – as it can be effectively treated and cured this is simply unacceptable. According to the Global TB Report, although TB treatment success has improved there is still a persistent number of people each year who are failed by their health systems by being missed causing further spread of the disease. In 2016 that number reached 4.1 million people.

These ‘missing’ TB-positive patients usually include the most vulnerable and those without proper access to care – the elderly and young, people living in poverty, people in remote communities, those with HIV, miners and migrant communities -. The TB epidemic can only be successfully curbed if we are able to find the missing 4.1 million who go without treatment.

Due to their unique speed and sensitivity, when combined with conventional tuberculosis diagnostics APOPO's TB Detection Rats (HeroRATs) have proven to increase detection rates of public clinics by over 40%. This means more TB positive people are put on treatment before they can infect other people and prolong the vicious TB cycle - and saving lives in the process.

Up to September 2017 APOPO’s HeroRATs were screening over 800 samples a week from partner clinics in Morogoro and Dar es Salaam and APOPO hope this will increase to 1500 samples a week with the newly added clinics.

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APOPO would like to recognize the partnership and commitment of the Swiss and German Embassies 
whose generous support helps make our life-saving work in Tanzania possible.