The Wall Street Transcript reported that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and global medical technology firm Becton, Dickinson, and Company (BD) would collaborate to support Indonesia’s National TB Program (NTP) by improving and expanding the country’s national reference laboratory systems. A strong TB laboratory network was essential for early TB diagnosis and determining appropriate treatment.
The USAID/BD collaboration would “introduce improved laboratory practices” in 19 NTP-supported reference laboratories that provided TB diagnostic services, and develop a national accreditation and certification system for laboratories and laboratory workers. BD also would train laboratory workers on TB culture drug susceptibility testing. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and BD’s Labs for Life programs would serve as models for the USAID/BD collaboration.
Indonesia was among the nations with highest TB burden globally, ranking fourth for TB and eighth for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) cases. Approximately 64,000 Indonesians die from TB annually. Two percent of new TB infections and 12 percent of “re-treatment” cases were MDR TB.
Surabaya’s Balai Besar Laboratorium Kesehatan (BBLK) was an internationally accredited laboratory that would serve as a core partner in the USAID/BD collaboration. USAID recently supported BBLK’s renovation, which expanded the laboratory’s capacity. USAID was the largest contributor to TB control in Indonesia and focused on detecting TB, completing treatment, and improving the overall quality of care.