Using community health workers for facility and community based TB case finding: An evaluation in central Mozambique.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:<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: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:INTRODUCTION:Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a leading cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Mozambique. While diagnostic methods and total notifications are improving, significant gaps remain between total numbers of TB cases annually, and the number that are notified. The purpose of this study was to elicit Mozambican patients with drug sensitive TB (DS-TB), TB/HIV and Multi drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) understanding and assessment of the quality of care for DS-TB, HIV/TB and MDR-TB services in Mozambique, along with challenges to effectively preventing, diagnosing and treating TB. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Qualitative data was collected via separate focus group discussions consisting of patients with DS-TB, TB/HIV and MDR-TB at four health centers in Sofala and Manica Province, Mozambique, to describe knowledge on TB, HIV and MDR-TB, and identify barriers to access and adherence to services and their recommendations for improvement. A total of 51 patients participated in 11 discussions. Content analysis was done and main themes were identified. RESULTS:Focus groups shared a number of prominent themes. Respondents identified numerous challenges including delays in diagnosis, stigma related with diagnosis and treatment, long waits at health facilities, the absence of nutritional support for patients with TB, the absence of a comprehensive psychosocial support program, and the lack of overall knowledge about TB or multi drug resistant TB in the community. DISCUSSION:TB patients in central Mozambique identified many challenges to effectively preventing, diagnosing and treating tuberculosis. Awareness strengthening in the community, continuous quality monitoring and in-service training is needed to increase screening, diagnosis and treatment for TB, HIV/TB and MDR-TB.
Project description:BACKGROUND:There is a dearth of comparative effectiveness research examining the implementation of different strategies for active tuberculosis (TB) case finding, particularly in rural settings, which represent 60% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS AND FINDINGS:We conducted a pragmatic, cluster-randomized comparative effectiveness trial of two TB case finding strategies (facility-based screening and contact tracing) in 56 public primary care clinics in two largely rural districts of Limpopo Province, South Africa. In the facility-based screening arm, sputum Xpert MTB/RIF was performed on all patients presenting (for any reason) with TB symptoms to 28 study clinics, and no contact tracing was performed. In the contact-tracing arm, contacts of patients with active TB were identified (via household tracing in 14 clinics and using small monetary incentives in the other 14 clinics), screened for TB symptoms, and offered Xpert MTB/RIF testing. The primary outcome was the number of newly identified patients with TB started on treatment. The analysis used multivariable Poisson regression adjusted for historical clinic-level TB case volumes and district. The trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02808507). From July 18, 2017, to January 17, 2019, a total of 3,755 individuals started TB treatment across 56 study clinics in the 18-month period. Clinic characteristics and clinic-level averages of patient characteristics were similar across the two arms: 40/56 (71%) clinics were in a rural location, 2,136/3,655 (58%) patients were male, and 2,243 (61%) were HIV positive. The treatment initiation ratio comparing the yield of TB patients started on treatment in the facility-based arm compared to that from the contact-tracing arm was 1.04 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.83-1.30, p = 0. 73). In the contact-tracing arm, 1,677 contacts of 788 new TB index patients were screened, yielding 12 new patients with TB. Prespecified subgroup analyses resulted in similar results, with estimated treatment initiation ratios of 0.96 (95% CI 0.64-1.27; p = 0.78) and 1.23 (95% CI 0.87-1.59; p = 0.29) among historically smaller and historically larger clinics, respectively. This ratio was 1.02 (95% CI 0.66-1.37; p = 0.93) and 1.08 (95% CI 0.74-1.42; p = 0.68) in the Vhembe and Waterberg districts, respectively. The estimated treatment initiation ratio was unchanged in sensitivity analyses excluding 24 records whose TB registration numbers could not be verified (1.03, 95% CI 0.82-1.29; p = 0.78) and excluding transfers-in (1.02, 95% CI 0.80-1.29; p = 0.71). Study limitations include the possibility of imbalance on cluster size owing to changes in catchment population over time and the inability to distinguish the independent effects of the two contact investigation strategies. CONCLUSIONS:Contact tracing based on symptom screening and Xpert MTB/RIF testing did not increase the rate of treatment initiation for TB relative to the less resource-intensive approach of facility-based screening in this rural sub-Saharan setting. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02808507.
Project description: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:BACKGROUND:The achievement of the World Health Organization's END TB goals will depend on the successful implementation of strategies for early diagnosis and retention of patients on effective therapy until cure. An estimated 150,000 cases are missed annually in South Africa. It is necessary to look at means for identifying these missed cases. This requires the implementation of active surveillance for TB, a policy adopted by the National Department of Health. AIM:To explore the views of managers of the TB program on the implementation of active surveillance for TB in the resource constrained setting of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. METHODS:A descriptive, explorative, thematically analysed qualitative study based on 10 semi-structured interviews of managers of the TB program. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using the framework method and Atlas-ti. RESULTS:Active case finding of people attending health facilities was the dominant approach, although screening by community health workers (CHWs) was available. Both government and non-government organisations employed CHWs to screen door to door and sometimes as part of campaigns or community events. Some CHWs focused only on contact tracing or people that were non-adherent to TB treatment. Challenges for CHWs included poor coordination and duplication of services, failure to investigate those identified in the community, lack of transport and supportive supervision as well as security issues. Successes included expanding coverage by government CHW teams, innovations to improve screening, strategies to improve CHW capability and attention to social determinants. CONCLUSION:A multifaceted facility- and community-based approach was seen as ideal for active surveillance. More resources should be targeted at strengthening teams of CHWs, for whom this would be part of a comprehensive and integrated service in a community-orientated primary care framework, and community engagement to strengthen community level interventions.
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: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.