Improving TB case notification in northern Uganda: evidence of a quality improvement-guided active case finding intervention.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Strategies to identify and treat undiagnosed prevalent cases that have not sought diagnostic services on their own, are necessary to treat TB in patients earlier and interrupt transmission. Late presentation for medical services of symptomatic patients require special efforts to detect early and notify TB in high risk populations. An intervention that combined quality improvement with facility-led active case finding (QI-ACF) was implemented in 10 districts of Northern Uganda with the highest TB burden to improve case notification among populations at highest risk of TB. METHODS:Using QI-ACF intervention approach in 48 facilities, we; 1) targeted key vulnerable populations, 2) engaged district and facility teams in TB systems strengthening, 3) conducted systematic screening and diagnosis in vulnerable groups (people living with HIV, fishing communities, and prisoners), and 4) trained health workers on national x-ray diagnosis guidelines for smear-negative patients. Facility-led QI-ACF meant that health care providers identified the target population, mobilized and massively screened suspects, and addressed gaps in documentation. Chest X-ray diagnosis was promoted for smear-negative TB among those suspects whose sputum examination was negative. The effect of the intervention on case notification was then assessed separately over the post intervention period. RESULTS:Over all TB case notification in the intervention districts increased from 171 to 223 per 100,000 population between the baseline months of October-December 2016 and end line month of April-June 2017. TB patient contacts had the majority of TB positive cases identified during active case finding (40, 6.1%). Fishing communities had the highest TB positivity rate at 6.8%. Prisoners accounted for the lowest number of TB positive cases at 34 (2.3%). CONCLUSION:Targeting should be applied at all levels of TB intervention to improve yield: targeting districts and facilities with the lowest rates of case notification and targeting index patient contacts, HIV clients, and fishing communities. Screening tools are useful to guide health workers to identify presumptive cases. Efforts to improve availability of x-ray for TB diagnosis contributed to almost half of the new cases identified. Having all HIV patients who were eligible for viral load provide sputum for TB screening proved easy to implement.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Globally, there has been growing evidence that suggests the effectiveness of active case finding (ACF) for tuberculosis (TB) in high-risk populations. However, the evidence is still insufficient as to whether ACF increases case notification beyond what is reported in the routine passive case finding (PCF). In Cambodia, National TB Control Programme has conducted nationwide ACF with Xpert MTB/RIF that retrospectively targeted household and neighbourhood contacts alongside routine PCF. This study aims to investigate the impact of ACF on case notifications during and after the intervention period. METHODS:Using a quasi-experimental cluster randomized design with intervention and control arms, we compared TB case notification during the one-year intervention period with historical baseline cases and trend-adjusted expected cases, and estimated additional cases notified during the intervention period (separately for Year 1 and Year 2 implementation). The proportion of change in case notification was compared between intervention and control districts for Year 1. The quarterly case notification data from all intervention districts were consolidated, aligning different implementation quarters, and separately analysed to explore the additionality. The effect of the intervention on the subsequent case notification during the post-intervention period was also assessed. RESULTS:In Year 1, as compared to expected cases, 1467 cases of all forms (18.5%) and 330 bacteriologically-confirmed cases (9.6%) were additionally notified in intervention districts, whereas case notification in control districts decreased by 2.4% and 2.3%, respectively. In Year 2, 2737 cases of all forms (44.3%) and 793 bacteriologically-confirmed cases (38%) were additionally notified as compared to expected cases. The proportions of increase in case notifications from baseline cases and expected cases to intervention period cases were consistently higher in intervention group than in control group. The consolidated quarterly data showed sharp rises in all forms and bacteriologically-confirmed cases notified during the intervention quarter, with 64.6% and 68.4% increases (compared to baseline cases), and 46% and 52.9% increases (compared to expected cases), respectively. A cumulative reduction of case notification for five quarters after ACF reached more than -200% of additional cases. CONCLUSIONS:The Cambodia's ACF with Xpert MTB/RIF that retrospectively targeted household and neighbourhood contacts resulted in the substantial increase in case notification during the intervention period and reduced subsequent case notification during the post-intervention period. The applicability of retrospective contact investigation in other high-burden settings should be explored.
Project description:BackgroundTo achieve the WHO End TB Strategy targets, it is necessary to detect and treat more people with active TB early. Scale–up of active case finding (ACF) may be one strategy to achieve that goal. Given human resource constraints in the health systems of most high TB burden countries, volunteer community health workers (CHW) have been widely used to economically scale up TB ACF. However, more evidence is needed on the most cost-effective compensation models for these CHWs and their potential impact on case finding to inform optimal scale-up policies.MethodsWe conducted a two-year, controlled intervention study in 12 districts of Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. We engaged CHWs as salaried employees (3 districts) or incentivized volunteers (3 districts) to conduct ACF among contacts of people with TB and urban priority groups. Eligible persons were asked to attend health services for radiographic screening and rapid molecular diagnosis or smear microscopy. Individuals diagnosed with TB were linked to appropriate care. Six districts providing routine NTP care served as control area. We evaluated additional cases notified and conducted comparative interrupted time series (ITS) analyses to assess the impact of ACF by human resource model on TB case notifications.ResultsWe verbally screened 321,020 persons in the community, of whom 70,439 were eligible for testing and 1138 of them started TB treatment. ACF activities resulted in a?+?15.9% [95% CI: +?15.0%, +?16.7%] rise in All Forms TB notifications in the intervention areas compared to control areas. The ITS analyses detected significant positive post-intervention trend differences in All Forms TB notification rates between the intervention and control areas (p =?0.001), as well as between the employee and volunteer human resource models (p =?0.021).ConclusionsBoth salaried and volunteer CHW human resource models demonstrated additionality in case notifications compared to routine case finding by the government TB program. The salaried employee CHW model achieved a greater impact on notifications and should be prioritized for scale-up, given sufficient resources.
Project description:Background:Cambodia has one of the highest tuberculosis (TB) prevalence rates in the world. People aged 55 years and over account for an estimated 50% of the country's TB burden, yet this group has a low notification rate owing to specific barriers in accessing health services. One-off active case finding (ACF) days with mobile GeneXpert and X-ray systems were organized at 75 government health facilities in four operational districts. Symptomatic community members with an abnormal chest X-ray were tested using the Xpert MTB/RIF assay. People with TB were then treated at health facilities after screening services moved onto the next site. Methods:De-identified project data were analysed to produce descriptive statistics about the people tested on Xpert and those diagnosed with TB. A linear regression was fit through the 12 quarters of National TB Program (NTP) TB case notification data immediately prior to ACF. The regression was used to calculate trend-expected notifications during and after the ACF quarters. Notifications from the ACF quarters were then compared to actual notifications from the previous year and to the trend-expected notifications during the ACF quarter by age group and type of TB. Finally, NTP TB treatment outcomes for the patients started on treatment during the ACF quarter were compared to those from a year prior. Results:2068 individuals submitted sputum for Xpert MTB/RIF testing, resulting in the identification of 319 (15.4%) bacteriologically-positive TB patients and an additional 574 people who were clinically diagnosed with TB. In the ACF quarters, new bacteriologically-positive notifications increased +119.2% for all ages and +262.7% for people aged 55 and over compared with trend-expected notifications. Treatment initiation figures remained above trend-expected notifications for three full quarters after ACF. The treatment success rate across all operational districts was significantly higher for patients detected in the ACF quarters (88.8% vs 94.5%, p?=?0.012). Conclusion:A series of roving, one-off ACF days at government health facilities were able to increase TB diagnosis, treatment initiation and treatment outcomes in a key population with high TB prevalence. Targeted ACF interventions such as this could be used to reduce a backlog of untreated, prevalent TB.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cambodia has made notable progress in the fight against tuberculosis (TB). However, these gains are impeded by a significant proportion of undiagnosed cases. To effectively reach people with TB, active case-finding (ACF) strategies have been adopted by countries affected by the epidemic, including Cambodia, alongside passive case finding (PCF). Despite increased efforts to improve case detection, approximately 40% of TB cases in Cambodia remained undiagnosed in 2018. In Cambodia, several community-based TB ACF modalities have been implemented, but their effectiveness has yet to be systematically assessed. METHODS:This pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial will be conducted between December 2019 and June 2021. We will randomize eight operational districts (clusters) in seven provinces (Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Prey Veng, Thbong Khmum, Kampong Chhnang, Kandal, and Kampong Speu) to either the control group (PCF) or the intervention groups (ACF using a seed-and-recruit model, ACF targeting household and neighborhood contacts, and ACF targeting persons aged ??55 years using mobile screening units). The primary endpoints will be TB case notification rates, additionality, and cumulative yield of TB cases. The secondary endpoints include treatment outcomes, the number needed to screen to find one TB case, and cost-effectiveness outcome measures. We will analyze the primary and secondary endpoints by intention to treat. We will compare cluster and individual-level characteristics using Student's t test and hierarchical or mixed-effect models to estimate the ratio of these means. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio per disability-adjusted life year averted will also be considered as a benchmark to determine whether the interventions are cost-effective. DISCUSSION:This study will build an evidence base to inform future scale-up, implementation, and sustainability of ACF strategies in Cambodia and other similar settings. Implementation of this study will also complement TB control strategies in Cambodia by conducting ACF in operational districts without active interventions to find TB cases currently. Those who are ill and might have TB will be promptly screened, diagnosed, and linked to care. Early diagnosis and treatment initiation will also benefit their community by interrupting transmission and prevent further infections. The experience gained from this project will inform future attempts in conducting pragmatic trials in low-resource settings. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04094350. Registered on 18 September 2019.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mozambique has one of the highest incidence rates of both TB and HIV in the world and an estimated tuberculosis (TB) treatment coverage of only 57% in 2018. Numerous approaches are being tested to reduce existing gaps in coverage and the estimated number of missing cases. METHODS:Thirty Community Healthcare Workers (CHWs) were tasked with increasing TB notifications by performing verbal facility-based TB screening of all people presenting for care and TB contact tracing in the community. Using routine National TB Program data, we analyzed trends in TB notifications in five intervention districts and seven control districts in Manica province the year before this project and during a one-year intervention period. RESULTS:In the four quarters before the study, the intervention districts notified 5,219 individuals with all forms of TB, and the control districts notified 2,248 TB cases. During the study 5,982 all forms of people with TB were notified in the intervention area, an increase of 763 (14.6%) over the baseline, whereas the control districts notified 1,877 persons with TB, a decrease of -371 (-16.5%). The CHW screening activities yielded 1,502 notified and treated individuals with TB. CONCLUSIONS:Employing CHWs to promote facility-based TB screening and household contact tracing may lead to an overall increase in TB notification.
Project description:Objectives Cost-efficient active case finding (ACF) approaches are needed for their large-scale adoption in national tuberculosis (TB) programmes. Our aim was to assess if community health workers’ (CHW) knowledge about families’ health status can improve the cost efficiency of the ACF programme without adversely affecting the delivery of other health services for which they are responsible. Design Quasi-experimental design. Interventions We evaluated an ACF programme in the Samastipur district in Bihar, India, between July 2017 and June 2018. CHWs called Accredited Social Health Activists generated referrals of individuals at risk of TB and conducted symptom-based screening to identify patients with presumptive TB. They also helped them undergo testing and provided treatment support for confirmed TB cases. Primary and secondary outcome measures We compared the notification rate from the intervention region with that from a control region in the same district with similar characteristics. We analysed operational data to calculate the cost per TB case diagnosed. We used routine programmatic data from the public health system to estimate the impact on other services provided by CHWs. Findings CHWs identified 9895 patients with presumptive TB. Of these, 5864 patients were tested for TB, and 1236 were confirmed as TB cases. Annual public case notification rate increased sharply in the intervention region from 45.8 to 105.8 per 100?000 population, whereas it decreased from 50.7 to 45.3 in the control region. There was no practically or statistically significant impact on other output indicators of the CHWs, such as institutional deliveries (?0.04%). The overall cost of the intervention was about US$134 per diagnosed case. Main cost drivers were human resources, and commodities (drugs and diagnostics), which contributed 37.4% and 32.5% of the cost, respectively. Conclusions ACF programmes that use existing CHWs in the health system are feasible, cost efficient and do not adversely affect other healthcare services delivered by CHWs.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:We conducted an implementation science study to increase TB case detection through a combination of interventions at health facility and community levels. We determined the impact of the study in terms of additional cases detected and notification rate and compared the yield of bacteriologically confirmed TB of facility based and community based case finding. METHODOLOGY:Over a period of 18 months, similar case finding activities were conducted at George health facility in Lusaka Zambia and its catchment community, an informal peri-urban settlement. Activities included awareness and demand creation activities, TB screening with digital chest x-ray or symptom screening, sputum evaluation using geneXpert MTB/RIF, TB diagnosis and linkage to treatment. RESULTS:A total of 18,194 individuals were screened of which 9,846 (54.1%) were screened at the facility and 8,348 (45.9%) were screened in the community. The total number of TB cases diagnosed during the intervention period were 1,026, compared to 759 in the pre-intervention period; an additional 267 TB cases were diagnosed. Of the 563 bacteriologically confirmed TB cases diagnosed under the study, 515/563 (91.5%) and 48/563 (8.5%) were identified at the facility and in the community respectively (P<0.0001). The TB notification rate increased from 246 per 100,000 population pre-intervention to 395 per 100,000 population in the last year of the intervention. CONCLUSIONS:Facility active case finding was more effective in detecting TB cases than community active case finding. Strengthening health systems to appropriately identify and evaluate patients for TB needs to be optimised in high burden settings. At a minimum, provider initiated TB symptom screening with completion of the TB screening and diagnostic cascade should be provided at the health facility in high burden settings. Community screening needs to be systematic and targeted at high risk groups and communities with access barriers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A decade of Boko Haram insurgency brought conflict, mass displacement, and the destruction of basic infrastructure to Northeast Nigeria. Over 2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) suffering from lack of basic hygienic conditions, malnutrition, and disease live in camps or are hosted by communities in the region, where the conflict has contributed to a massive destruction of health facilities. Infectious diseases like tuberculosis (TB) and HIV are especially difficult to address under such conditions, and IDPs are vulnerable to both. Although international investment supports some health interventions among IDPs, locally sourced solutions are lacking. METHODS AND FINDINGS:We evaluated the impact of an active case finding (ACF) intervention for TB and testing for HIV in IDP communities and provided linkages to treatment in 3 states in Northeast Nigeria: Adamawa, Gombe, and Yobe. The ACF was a component of a multistakeholder collaboration between government, civil society, and IDP community partners, which also included mapping of IDP populations and health services, supporting existing health facilities, developing a sample transport network, and organizing community outreach to support ACF. Between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, ACF was conducted in 26 IDP camps and 963 host communities in 12 local government areas (LGAs) with another 12 LGAs serving as a control population. Outreach efforts resulted in 283,556 screening encounters. We screened 13,316 children and 270,239 adults including 150,303 (55.6%) adult women and 119,936 (44.4%) men. We tested 17,134 people for TB and 58,976 for HIV. We detected 1,423 people with TB and 874 people living with HIV. We linked 1,419 people to anti-TB treatment and 874 people with HIV to antiretroviral treatment sites. We evaluated additional TB cases notified and conducted comparative interrupted time series (ITS) analyses to assess the impact of ACF on TB case notifications. Through our efforts, bacteriologically confirmed TB notifications increased by 847 (45.1%) during the intervention period, with IDPs accounting for 46% of these notifications. The ITS analyses detected significant positive postintervention trend differences in TB notification rates between the intervention and control areas in all forms TB (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.136 [1.072, 1.204]; p ? 0.001) and bacteriologically positive TB (IRR = 1.141 [1.058, 1.229]; p = 0.001). The TB prevalence (502 cases per 100,000 screening encounters) was 10 times the national notification rates and 2.3 times the estimated national incidence. Rates of HIV infection (1.8%) were higher than HIV prevalence estimates in the 3 states. Our study was limited by the nonrandom selection of LGAs. Furthermore, we did not use sensitive screening tools like chest X-ray and likely missed people with TB. CONCLUSIONS:In this study, we observed a burden of TB in IDP populations of Northeast Nigeria many times higher than national rates and HIV rates higher than state level estimates. The impact of the intervention showed that ACF can greatly increase TB case notifications. Engaging IDP communities, local governments, and civil society organizations is essential to ensuring the success of interventions targeting TB and HIV, and such approaches can provide sustained solutions to these and other health crises among vulnerable populations.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In Afghanistan, improving TB case detection remains challenging. In 2014, only half of the estimated incident TB cases were notified, and notifications have decreased since peaking in 2007. Active case finding has been increasingly considered to improve TB case notifications. While access to health services has improved in Afghanistan, it remains poor and many people seeking health services won't receive proper care.<h4>Methods</h4>From October 2011 through December 2012 we conducted three separate case finding strategies in six provinces of Afghanistan and measured impact on TB case notification. Systematically screening cough among attendees at 47 health facilities, active household contact investigation of smear-positive index TB patients, and active screening at 15 camps for internally displaced people were conducted. We collected both intervention yield and official quarterly notification data. Additional TB notifications were calculated by comparing numbers of cases notified during the intervention with those notified before the intervention, then adjusting for secular trends in notification.<h4>Results</h4>We screened 2,022,127 people for TB symptoms during the intervention, tested 59,838 with smear microscopy and detected 5,046 people with smear-positive TB. Most cases (81.7%, 4,125) were identified in health facilities while nearly 20% were found through active case finding. A 56% increase in smear-positive TB notifications was observed between the baseline and intervention periods among the 47 health facilities, where cases detected by all three strategies were notified.<h4>Discussion</h4>While most people with TB are likely to be identified through health facility screening, there are many people who remain without a proper diagnosis if outreach is not attempted. This is especially true in places like Afghanistan where access to general services is poor. Targeted active case finding can improve the number of people who are detected and treated for TB and can push towards the targets of the Stop TB Global Plan and End TB Strategy.
Project description:Background and objectives:The effects of active case finding (ACF) models that mobilise community networks for early identification and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) remain unknown. We investigated and compared the effect of community-based ACF using a seed-and-recruit model with one-off roving ACF and passive case finding (PCF) on the time to treatment initiation and identification of bacteriologically confirmed TB. Methods:In this retrospective cohort study conducted in 12 operational districts in Cambodia, we assessed relationships between ACF models and: 1) the time to treatment initiation using Cox proportional hazards regression; and 2) the identification of bacteriologically confirmed TB using modified Poisson regression with robust sandwich variance. Results:We included 728 adults with TB, of whom 36% were identified via the community-based ACF using a seed-and-recruit model. We found community-based ACF using a seed-and-recruit model was associated with shorter delay to treatment initiation compared to one-off roving ACF (hazard ratio 0.81, 95% CI 0.68-0.96). Compared to one-off roving ACF and PCF, community-based ACF using a seed-and-recruit model was 45% (prevalence ratio (PR) 1.45, 95% CI 1.19-1.78) and 39% (PR 1.39, 95% CI 0.99-1.94) more likely to find and detect bacteriologically confirmed TB, respectively. Conclusion:Mobilising community networks to find TB cases was associated with early initiation of TB treatment in Cambodia. This approach was more likely to find bacteriologically confirmed TB cases, contributing to the reduction of risk of transmission within the community.