TB

This study examined provider barries to uptake of isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) at 67 government health facilities providing tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) services across Ethiopia. Clinician impression that ruling out active TB among HIV patients is difficult was found to be a significant barrier to IPT uptake. Continued advancement of IPT relies greatly on improving the ability of providers to determine IPT eligibility and more confidently care for patients on IPT. Improved clinician support and training as well as development of new TB diagnostic technologies could impact IPT utilization among providers.

A retrospective analysis of diagnosis smear results of PBC TB patients in Kampala District registered between January 2012 and December 2015 at 65 TB diagnosis and treatment units (DTUs) was done. Of the 10,404 records, 6551 (63.0%) belonged to PBC TB patients, 3734 (57.0%) of whom were male. From 2012 through 2015, there was a statistically significant increase in PBC TB patients enrolled on anti-TB treatment from 1389 to 2194. The percentage of HIV positive co-infected PBC TB patients diagnosed decreased from 597 (43%) to 890 (40.6%) within same period. Linkage to HIV care improved from 229 (34.4%) in 2012 to 464 (52.1%) in 2015. The treatment success rate for PBC TB patients improved from 69% in 2012 to 75.5% by the end of 2015 with an improvement in the cure rate from 52.3% to 62%. There was a significant decrease in TB related mortality from 8.9 to 6.4%. The proportion of diagnosed PBC TB patients increased from 2012 to 2015. PBC TB patients diagnosed with 3+ smear positivity grading results consistently contributed to the highest proportion of diagnosed PBC TB patients from 2012 to 2015. This could be due to the delay in diagnosis of TB patients because of late presentation of patients to clinics. 

Multigram drug depot systems for extended drug release could transform our capacity to effectively treat patients across a myriad of diseases. For example, tuberculosis (TB) requires multimonth courses of daily multigram doses for treatment. To address the challenge of prolonged dosing for regimens requiring multigram drug dosing, we developed a gastric resident system delivered through the nasogastric route that was capable of safely encapsulating and releasing grams of antibiotics over a period of weeks. Initial preclinical safety and drug release were demonstrated in a swine model with a panel of TB antibiotics. We anticipate multiple applications in the field of infectious diseases, as well as for other indications where multigram depots could impart meaningful benefits to patients, helping maximize adherence to their medication.

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 735 new adult tuberculosis (TB) cases registered between January to December 2015 in 10 woredas, equivalent to districts, of southwestern Ethiopia. TB patients waited too long time to initiate anti-TB treatment, reflecting longer periods of morbidity and disease transmission. The delays are attributed to patient, disease and health system related factors. Hence, improving community awareness, and involving informal providers, health extension workers and TB treatment supporters can reduce the patient delay. Similarly, cough screening and improving diagnostic efficiencies of healthcare facilities should be in place to reduce provider delays.

We present Ethiopia's experience in implementing LTBI management. Our objective is to share promising practices and existing opportunities and to suggest specific steps required for further scale up of the services. Our report is based on synthesis of data from secondary sources including official routine reports of Ministry of Health, materials presented at review meetings, and findings from supervisory visits to districts and health facilities. Our results suggest that Ethiopia has made significant strides toward strengthening LTBI management in people living with HIV and among under-five-year-old household contacts of TB patients. The use of contact investigation as entry point for LTBI management could be taken as best practice.

A longitudinal study among 735 new TB cases was conducted from January 2015 through June 2016 in 10 woredas (districts) of southwestern Ethiopia. Between onset of illness and anti-TB treatment course, patients incurred a median of US$201.48. Of the total cost, the indirect and direct costs respectively constituted 70.6 and 29.4%. TB patients incurred a median of US$97.62 and US$93.75 during the pre- and post-diagnosis periods, respectively. Thus, patients incurred 53.6% of the total cost during the pre-diagnosis period. Direct out-of-pocket expenses during the pre- and post-diagnosis periods respectively amount to median of US$21.64 and US$35.02. Patient delay days, provider delay days, number of healthcare facilities visited until TB diagnosis, and TB diagnosis at private facilities independently predicted increased pre-diagnosis cost. Similarly, rural residence, hospitalization during anti-TB treatment, patient delay days, and provider delay days predicted increased post-diagnosis costs. TB patients incur substantial cost for care seeking and treatment despite “free service” for TB. Therefore, promoting early care seeking, decentralizing efficient diagnosis, and treatment services within reach of peoples, and introducing reimbursement system for direct costs can help minimize financial burden to the patient.

A follow up study among 735 new TB cases registered at health facilities in districts of southwest Ethiopia was conducted from January 2015 to June 2016. Patients reported days elapsed between onset of illness and treatment commencement. The overall treatment success among the treatment cohort was 89.7% respectively among those initiated treatment beyond and within of 30 days of onset of illness. Higher risk of unsuccessful outcome was predicted by treatment initiation beyond 30 days of onset, HIV co-infection, and received treatment at hospital. On the other hand, lower risk of unsuccessful outcome was predicted by weight gain and sputum smear negative conversion the end of second month treatment. Higher risk of unsuccessful outcome is associated with prolonged days elapsed between onset of illness and treatment commencement. Hence, promotion of early care seeking, improving diagnostic and case holding efficiencies of health facilities and TB/HIV collaborative interventions can reduce risk of unsuccessful outcome.

This was a retrospective study of TB data for Kampala City for the period 2011–2015. We extracted data from the TB registers in the 52 diagnostic and treatment units in Kampala. We report on data for children 0 to 14 years. We accessed 33,221 TB patient records, of which 2,333 (7%) were children. The proportion of children with pulmonary TB was 80%. The TB notification rate among children in Kampala City showed a large decline (from 105 to 74 per 100,000) during the period. There was a slight improvement in the treatment success rate among the children.

Early detection and treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is an urgent global priority. Identifying and tracing close contacts of patients with MDR-TB could be a feasible strategy to achieve this goal. However, there is limited experience with contact tracing among patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis both globally and in Ethiopia. Here we present findings on the extent of screening symptomatic contacts and its yield in a tetrtiary hospital in a major urban setting in Ethiopia. Symptomatic household contacts were identified in 29 (5.7%) of 508 index cases treated at the hospital. There were a total of 155 family members in the households traced of whom 16 (10%) had confirmed MDR-TB. At least 1 confirmed MDR-TB case was identified in 15 (51.7%) of the 29 traced households. Tracing symptomatic contacts of MDR-TB cases could be a high yield strategy for early detection and treatment of MDR-TB cases in the community. The approach should be promoted for wider adoption and dissemination.

The neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are the most common infections of humans in sub-Saharan Africa. Virtually all of the population living below the World Bank poverty figure is affected by one or more NTDs. New evidence indicates a high degree of geographic overlap between the highest-prevalence NTDs (soil-transmitted helminths, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, and trachoma) and malaria and HIV, exhibiting a high degree of co-infection. Recent research suggests that NTDs can affect HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria disease progression. A combination of immunological, epidemiological, and clinical factors can contribute to these interactions and add to a worsening prognosis for people affected by HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. Together these results point to the impacts of the highest-prevalence NTDs on the health outcomes of malaria, HIV/AIDS, and TB and present new opportunities to design innovative public health interventions and strategies for these "big three" diseases. This analysis describes the current findings of research and what research is still needed to strengthen the knowledge base of the impacts of NTDs on the big three.

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