The World Bank has provided funding worth US Dollars 63.66 million for the setting up of a unique regional network of 25 public health laboratories in East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.
The laboratories aim at increasing public access to diagnostic services and help in strengthening the regions ability to identify respond and prevent the spread of diseases especially among vulnerable populations living in cross border areas.
The World Bank aid will also help make optimal use of internet and mobile communications to improve public health in East African countries and support the roll-out of new technology for drug resistance monitoring and more efficient tuberculosis diagnosis, especially for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The World Bank Vice President for Africa Obiageli Ezekwesili, says that the World Bank is committed to supporting regional solutions that target important missing links in regional infrastructure, greater trade integration, and cross-border health issues critical to accelerating the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda are on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of 22 “high-burden” countries and together they account for 80 percent of the world’s tuberculosis cases while Rwanda is on the WHO list of 15 “high- TB incidence” countries.
According to the World Bank, Kenya has already received a credit of US dollars 23.5 million, Tanzania US Dollars15.05 million, and Uganda US Dollars10.01 million; while Rwanda has received a grant of US Dollars15.01 million to help fund the project.