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Free Content A tuberculin skin test survey among Afghan children in Kabul

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SETTING: Kabul, Afghanistan, October to November 2000.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and the average annual risk of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (ARTI).

METHODS: A cluster sampling method was selected to carry out the survey. Sub-divisions of Kabul's districts were chosen, and door-to-door visits were carried out to register the children. The prevalence of tuberculous infection was determined using a cut-off point to denote infection and mixture analysis. The average ARTI was derived algebraically from the prevalence estimates.

RESULTS: The tuberculin skin test was administered and read in 89% of registered children. Utilising a cut-off point of ≥8 mm induration, the estimated prevalence of tuberculous infection was 4.3% and the calculated average ARTI was 0.61%. Using mixture analysis, the average ARTI was estimated to be 0.34% (95% credibility interval 0.23–0.54). This indicates a substantial decrease from the estimated ARTI of 2.55% calculated in the 1963 survey.

CONCLUSIONS: There has been a large decrease in the risk of tuberculous infection in Kabul since the last assessment. The adverse situation in the past decades does not appear to have severely affected the epidemiological situation.

Keywords: Afghanistan; epidemiology; risk of infection; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Medair, Ecublens, Basel, Switzerland 2: Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland 3: Tuberculosis Division, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France

Publication date: September 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • 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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