ethiopia tb detection

APOPO is currently in the process of equipping a state of the art TB detection rat facility recently built in the heart of Addis Ababa in order to fight tuberculosis at the source.


The TB prevalence in sub Saharan Africa is very high compared with the rest of the world.  Ethiopia ranks seventh among the 30 high burden countries with an incidence of 207 cases per 100,000 capita.  Like in other African countries, co-infection with HIV is an important factor reaching 23% in the capital city, Addis Ababa.

As globally recommended by the WHO, DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course) is one of the most important components of the National TB strategy in Ethiopia.  In addition to DOTS, community based TB care and control interventions have been implemented through Health Extension Program. Despite the implementation of these strategies, the TB case detection rate remains below 50%. One of the main reasons is the lack of a simple, fast and accurate diagnostic method.


APOPO Ethiopia TB Detection

APOPO's TB detection rat facility is being built with support from the Armauer Hansen Research Institute in Addis Ababa. APOPO strives to work in Ethiopia so as to replicate the successes in Tanzania and Mozambique.



The AHRI-APOPO project has two lines of research: enhanced case finding among presumptive TB cases attending TB clinics in Addis Ababa  and mass screening inmates and prison staff in 35 prisons across Ethiopia so as to find active TB cases.

The enhanced case finding project aims to contribute to the national tuberculosis control program of Ethiopia by increasing the number of identified TB patients by at least 35% in the short term, whilst building a local capacity of TB detection rats and quality personnel to create a long term impact on reducing the TB problem in Ethiopia. Skoll Foundation granted funding for the(construction of the facility and equipment procurement and 2 years operation.

The prison active case finding project aims to screen 52,500 prison inmates and staff in 35 prisons all over the country. It is anticipated to find active TB cases that serve as a TB reservoir in the general population in general and the prison community in particular.



APOPO Ethiopia is developing partnerships with 30 public health centers for the enhanced case finding project and 10 prisons for the prison project. The building of the rat detection TB clinic is complete and rat handlers, an accountant and a health officer have completed training in Tanzania.


We read a lot in the scientific literature about APOPO’s approach to tuberculosis diagnosis. We also watched exciting news about this project in the international media and we are very glad to partner with and host the project at our institute. We look forward to replicating the success reported from Tanzania and Mozambique here in Ethiopia. 

Taye Tolera Balcha, MD, MPH, PhD, Director General | AHRI

ETHIOPIA partners and donors