Tuberculosis notification in a private tertiary care teaching hospital in South India: a mixed-methods study.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:India contributes approximately 25% of the 'missing' cases of tuberculosis (TB) globally. Even though ~50% of patients with TB are diagnosed and treated within India's private sector, few are notified to the public healthcare system. India's TB notification policy mandates that all patients with TB are notified through Nikshay (TB notification portal). We undertook this study in a private hospital to assess the proportion notified and factors affecting TB notifications. We explored barriers and probable solutions to TB notification qualitatively from health provider's perspective. STUDY SETTING:Private, tertiary care, teaching hospital in Bengaluru, South India. METHODOLOGY:This was a mixed-methods study. Quantitative component comprised a retrospective review of hospital records between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2017 to determine TB notifications. The qualitative component comprised key informant interviews and focus groups to elicit the barriers and facilitators of TB notification. RESULTS:Of 3820 patients diagnosed and treated, 885 (23.2%) were notified. Notifications of sputum smear-positive patients were significantly more likely, while notifications of children were less likely. Qualitative analysis yielded themes reflecting the barriers to TB notification and their solutions. Themes related to barriers were: (1) basic diagnostic procedures and treatment promote notification; (2) misconceptions regarding notification and its process are common among healthcare providers; (3) despite a national notification system other factors have prevented notification of all patients; and (4) establishing hospital systems for notification will go a long way in improving notifications. CONCLUSIONS:The proportion of patients with TB notified by the hospital was low. A comprehensive approach both by the hospital management and the national TB programme is necessary for improving notification. This includes improving awareness among healthcare providers about the requirement for TB notifications, establishing a single notification portal in hospital, digitally linking hospital records to Nikshay and designating one person to be responsible for notification.
Project description:Despite being a recognized standard of tuberculosis (TB) care internationally, mandatory TB case notification brings forth challenges from the private sector. Only three TB cases were notified in 2013 by private practitioners compared to 2000 TB cases notified yearly from the public sector in Alappuzha district. The study objective was to explore the knowledge, opinion and barriers regarding TB Notification among private practitioners offering TB services in Alappuzha, Kerala state, India.This was a mixed-methods study with quantitative (survey) and qualitative components conducted between December 2013 and July 2014. The survey, using a structured questionnaire, among 169 private practitioners revealed that 88% were aware of mandatory notification. All patient-related details requested in the notification form (except government-issued identification number) were perceived to be important and easy to provide by more than 80% of practitioners. While more than 95% felt that notification should be mandatory, punitive action in case of failure to notify was considered unnecessary by almost two third. General practitioners (98%) were more likely to be aware of notification than specialists (84 %). (P<0.01). Qualitative purposive personal interviews (n=34) were carried out among private practitioners and public health providers. On thematic framework analysis of the responses, barriers to TB notification were grouped into three themes: 'private provider misconceptions about notification', 'patient confidentiality, and stigma and discrimination 'and 'lack of cohesion and coordination between public and private sector'. Private practitioners did not consider it necessary to notify TB cases treated with daily regimen.Communication strategies like training, timely dissemination of information of policy changes and one-to-one dialogue with private practitioners to dispel misconceptions may enhance TB notification. Trust building strategies like providing feedback about referred cases from private sector, health personnel visit or a liaison private doctor may ensure compliance to public health activities.
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:<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:OBJECTIVE:We assessed the impact of political conflict (Boko Haram) on tuberculosis (TB) case noti?cations in Adamawa State in North-east Nigeria. DESIGN:A retrospective analysis of TB case notifications from TB registers (2010-2016) to describe changes in TB notification, sex and age ratios by the degree of conflict by local government area. SETTING:Adamawa State. PARTICIPANTS:21?076 TB cases notified. RESULTS:21?076 cases (62% male) were noti?ed between 2010 and 2016, of which 19 604 (93%) were new TB cases. Areas affected by conflict in 2014 and 2015 had decreased case notification while neighbouring areas reported increased case notifications. The male to female ratio of TB cases changed in areas in conflict with more female cases being notified. The young and elderly (1-14 and >65 years old) had low notifications in all areas, with a small increase in case notifications during the years of conflict. CONCLUSION:TB case notifications decreased in conflict areas and increased in areas without conflict. More males were notified during peace times and more female cases were reported from areas in conflict. Young and elderly populations had decreased case notifications but experienced a slight increase during the conflict years. These changes are likely to reflect population displacement and a dissimilar effect of conflict on the accessibility of services. TB services in conflict areas deserve further study to identify resilient approaches that could reach affected populations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Government of India declared TB as a notifiable disease in 2012. There is a paucity of information on the government's mandatory TB notification order from the perspective of private medical practitioners (PPs). OBJECTIVE:To understand the awareness, perception and barriers on TB notification among PPs in Chennai, India. METHODS:Total of 190 PPs were approached in their clinics by trained field staff who collected data using a semi-structured and pre-coded questionnaire after getting informed consent. The data collected included PPs' specialization, TB management practices, awareness about the TB notification order, barriers in its implementation and their suggestions to improve notification. RESULTS:Of 190 PPs from varied specializations, 138 (73%) had diagnosed TB cases in the prior three months, of whom 78% referred these patients to government facilities. Of 138 PPs, 73% were aware of the order on mandatory TB notification, of whom 46 (33%) had ever notified a TB case. Of 120 PPs, 63% reported reasons for not notifying TB cases. The main reasons reported for not notifying were lack of time (50%), concerns regarding patients' confidentiality (24%) and fear of offending patients (11%). Of 145 PPs, 76% provided feedback about information they felt uncomfortable reporting during notification. PPs felt most uncomfortable reporting patient's government-issued Aadhar number (77%), followed by patient's phone number (37%) and residential address (26%). The preferred means of notification was through mobile phone communication (24%), SMS (18%) and e-mail (17%). CONCLUSION:This study highlights that one-fourth of PPs were not aware of the TB notification order and not all those who were aware were notifying. While it is important to sensitize PPs on the importance of TB notification it is also important to understand the barriers faced by PPs and to make the process user-friendly in order to increase TB notification.
Project description:Under-detection and -reporting in the private sector constitute a major barrier in Viet Nam's fight to end tuberculosis (TB). Effective private-sector engagement requires innovative approaches. We established an intermediary agency that incentivized private providers in two districts of Ho Chi Minh City to refer persons with presumptive TB and share data of unreported TB treatment from July 2017 to March 2019. We subsidized chest x-ray screening and Xpert MTB/RIF testing, and supported test logistics, recording, and reporting. Among 393 participating private providers, 32.1% (126/393) referred at least one symptomatic person, and 3.6% (14/393) reported TB patients treated in their practice. In total, the study identified 1203 people with TB through private provider engagement. Of these, 7.6% (91/1203) were referred for treatment in government facilities. The referrals led to a post-intervention increase of +8.5% in All Forms TB notifications in the intervention districts. The remaining 92.4% (1112/1203) of identified people with TB elected private-sector treatment and were not notified to the NTP. Had this private TB treatment been included in official notifications, the increase in All Forms TB notifications would have been +68.3%. Our evaluation showed that an intermediary agency model can potentially engage private providers in Viet Nam to notify many people with TB who are not being captured by the current system. This could have a substantial impact on transparency into disease burden and contribute significantly to the progress towards ending TB.
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:BACKGROUND:In Asia, over 50% of patients with symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) access health care from private providers. These patients are usually not notified to the National TB Control Programs, which contributes to low notification rates in many countries. METHODS:From January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012, Karachi's Indus Hospital - a private sector partner to the National TB Programme - engaged 80 private family clinics in its catchment area in active case finding using health worker incentives to increase notification of TB disease. The costs incurred were estimated from the perspective of patients, health facility and the program providing TB services. A Markov decision tree model was developed to calculate the cost-effectiveness of the active case finding as compared to case detection through the routine passive TB centers. Pakistan has a large private health sector, which can be mobilized for TB screening using an incentivized active case finding strategy. Currently, TB screening is largely performed in specialist public TB centers through passive case finding. Active and passive case finding strategies are assumed to operate independently from each other. RESULTS:The incentive-based active case finding program costed USD 223 per patient treated. In contrast, the center based non-incentive arm was 23.4% cheaper, costing USD 171 per patient treated. Cost-effectiveness analysis showed that the incentive-based active case finding program was more effective and less expensive per DALY averted when compared to the baseline passive case finding as it averts an additional 0.01966 DALYs and saved 15.74 US$ per patient treated. CONCLUSION:Both screening strategies appear to be cost-effective in an urban Pakistan context. Incentive driven active case findings of TB in the private sector costs less and averts more DALYs per health seeker than passive case finding, when both alternatives are compared to a common baseline situation of no screening.
Project description:Globally, childhood tuberculosis (TB among those aged <15 years) is a neglected component of national TB programmes in high TB burden countries. Zimbabwe, a country in southern Africa, is a high burden country for TB, TB-HIV, and drug-resistant TB. In this study, we assessed trends in annual childhood TB notifications in Harare (the capital of Zimbabwe) from 2009 to 2018 and the demographic, clinical profiles, and treatment outcomes of childhood TB patients notified from 2015-2017 by reviewing the national TB programme records and reports. Overall, there was a decline in the total number of TB patients (all ages) from 5,943 in 2009 to 2,831 in 2018. However, the number of childhood TB patients had declined exponentially 6-fold from 583 patients (117 per 100,000 children) in 2009 to 107 patients (18 per 100,000 children) in 2018. Of the 615 childhood TB patients notified between 2015 and 2017, 556 (89%) patient records were available. There were 53% males, 61% were aged <5 years, 92% were new TB patients, 85% had pulmonary TB, and 89% were treated for-drug sensitive TB, 3% for drug-resistant TB, and 40% were HIV positive (of whom 59% were on ART). Although 58% had successful treatment outcomes, the treatment outcomes of 40% were unknown (not recorded or not evaluated), indicating severe gaps in TB care. The disproportionate decline in childhood TB notifications could be due to the reduction in the TB burden among HIV positive individuals from the scale up of antiretroviral therapy and isoniazid preventive therapy. However, the country is experiencing economic challenges which could also contribute to the disproportionate decline in childhood TB notification and gaps in quality of care. There is an urgent need to understand the reasons for the declining trends and the gaps in care.
Project description:Since 2012, the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Program has been implementing reactive case detection (RACD). Health facility (HF) staff send individual malaria case notifications by using mobile phones, triggering a review of HF records and malaria testing and treatment at the household level by a district malaria surveillance officer. We assessed the completeness and timeliness of this system, from case notification to household-level response. We reviewed two years (2015-2016) of primary register information in 40 randomly selected HFs on Zanzibar's two islands Unguja and Pemba and database records of case notifications from all registered HFs for the period 2013-16. The operational coverage of the system was calculated as proportion of HF-registered cases that were successfully reviewed and followed up at their household. Timeliness was defined as completion of each step within 1 day. Public HFs notified almost all registered cases (91% in Unguja and 87% in Pemba), and 74% of cases registered at public HFs were successfully followed up at their household in Unguja and 79% in Pemba. Timely operational coverage (defined as each step, diagnosis to notification, notification to review, and review to household-level response, completed within 1 day) was achieved for only 25% of registered cases in Unguja and 30% in Pemba. Records and data from private HFs on Unguja indicated poor notification performance in the private sector. Although the RACD system in Zanzibar achieved high operational coverage, timeliness was suboptimal. Patients diagnosed with malaria at private HFs and hospitals appeared to be largely missed by the RACD system.