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Free Content BCG coverage and the annual risk of tuberculosis infection over a 14-year period in the Philippines assessed from the Nationwide Prevalence Surveys

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SETTING: A prevalence survey of tuberculosis (TB) infection was undertaken in the Philippines, a developing country in the Western Pacific region.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG) vaccination rate, the prevalence of TB infection and the annual risk of TB infection (ARTI).

METHODS: A nationwide stratified multi-stage cluster survey of 21960 individuals. BCG scar verification and tuberculin test were performed on those aged ≥2 months. The ARTI was calculated using the prevalence rates of TB infection in children aged 5–9 years.

RESULTS: BCG scars were noted in 66% of the study population. The prevalence of TB infection was 63.4% among unvaccinated individuals. The prevalence rate was higher in males in both urban and rural areas. With both sexes combined, urban and rural communities had similar prevalence rates. In children aged 5–9 years, the prevalence rate was 16.1% (males 17.4%, females 14.9%), corresponding to an ARTI of 2.3% (males 2.5%, females 2.1%).

CONCLUSION: BCG coverage increased substantially between 1981–1983 and 1997. The ARTI, however, was virtually unchanged, indicating that morbidity due to TB continued to be high.
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Keywords: BCG; Philippines; annual risk of TB infection (ARTI); revalence survey; tuberculin test

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Tropical Disease Foundation, Makati Medical Center, Makata City, the Philippines 2: World Health Organization, Western Pacific Regional Office, Manila, the Philippines 3: Department of Biostatistics, University of the Philippines, College of Public Health, Manila, the Philippines 4: Department of Health, Manila, the Philippines 5: Nutrition Center Philippines, Manila, the Philippines 6: Research Institute of Mindanao Culture, Xavier University, Manila, the Philippines 7: Tuberculosis Control Service, Department of Health, Manila, the Philippines

Publication date: 2000-03-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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