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USAID-Funded ACCELERATE Initiative to Boost Tuberculosis Elimination Efforts in South Africa

USAID-Funded ACCELERATE Initiative to Boost Tuberculosis Elimination Efforts in South Africa

In a landmark move towards ending tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded the Aurum Institute US $47 million (approx. R886 million) to implement their flagship TB programme in South Africa called Accelerate TB Elimination and Program Resilience Activity (ACCELERATE).

The Aurum Institute, in collaboration with community partner mothers2mothers, will assist South Africa in accelerating efforts to end TB by prioritising prevention, early detection, appropriate treatment, and retention in care.

Speaking at the World TB Day national event on 24 March, Deputy USAID Mission Director, Mr. Troy Tillis, stated,

"We want to emphasise the commitment of the US government to support South Africa in ending TB. Our partnership with Aurum and THINK is vital in achieving this goal. It's imperative for all stakeholders to work together with one goal in mind: to end TB."

ACCELERATE comprises two distinct activities tailored to address TB challenges across varying levels of burden. ACCELERATE 1, led by Aurum,  will extend technical support and interventions at national, provincial, and high TB burden district levels, while ACCELERATE 2, led by THINK, will focus on lower TB burden districts and provincial-level assistance.

TB remains the leading cause of death in South Africa, claiming 1.5 million lives per year globally. Yet TB is curable. South Africa has committed to reduce new TB cases by 80% by 2030.

During the national World TB Day event, Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla emphasised the need to ensure that the TB response was adequately resourced. He applauded the announcement by the National Department of Health and USAID of the ACCELERATE award which would amount to US $94 million (approx. R1.8 billion) over the next 5 years.

Led by the Aurum Institute, a leader in TB research and programme implementation, ACCELERATE 1 kicked off its operations in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape on September 1, 2023, with a projected end date of August 31, 2028. Together with community partner mothers2mothers, Aurum Institute's implementation model promises to transform TB elimination efforts through innovative strategies and evidence-based practices.

"The introduction of ACCELERATE marks a pivotal moment in our efforts to end TB in South Africa," said Prof. Vinodh Edward, Aurum’s Chief Executive Officer: South Africa. "Aurum is committed to eradicating TB through collaboration with our partners and the community, aligning closely with our mission to generate evidence for policy and translate policy into practice. This concerted effort is crucial in not only preserving lives but also alleviating the overarching burden of TB disease," Edward added.

Efforts under ACCELERATE 1 will centre on enhancing TB diagnosis, increasing treatment coverage, curbing TB transmission, and fortifying TB response systems.

“Aurum is excited to spearhead this critical project, owing to our extensive expertise and longstanding dedication to TB initiatives. Our collaborative approach ensures that we will work seamlessly alongside esteemed stakeholders such as the Department of Health, USAID, mother2mothers, community organisations, and others. Together, we will diligently pursue our shared mission of ending TB and creating a healthier world for future generations," commented Dr Priashni Subrayen, Chief of Party for ACCELERATE 1.


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