Evaluation of active tuberculosis case finding through symptom screening and sputum microscopy of close contacts in Shandong, China
Objectives To evaluate the effect of active case finding through symptom screening and sputum microscopy of close contacts in a Fidelis (Fund for Innovative DOTS Expansion through Local Initiatives to Stop TB) project.
Methods Secondary data from all 35 counties were collected during implementation and used. They comprised new cases identified, number of close contacts screened and their relationships. Fifty‐four in‐depth interviews were conducted with staff from key stakeholders.
Results A total of 13 310 symptomatic contacts of 5255 index cases were screened, and 90 new smear‐positive cases were detected with a yield rate of 0.7%. The yield rate of close contacts was positively associated with smear grades of the index cases (P < 0.01). Close contacts of cases, such as classmates and workmates, who lived in a closed contained setting, had a higher yield rate than family members (P < 0.001). Gaps in project implementation such as training, incentives and sputum collection were identified through in‐depth interviews.
Conclusions The yield rate of close‐contact screening of 0.7% was similar to other findings in China. There was a higher yield from screening of close contacts in congregated settings like schools and workshops. Future active case finding projects should provide clear operational guidelines and adequate training.
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