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Free Content Tuberculosis control in conflict-affected East Timor, 1996–2004

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Abstract:

SETTING: East Timor has undergone major political changes in the past 10 years. Tuberculosis (TB) control has flourished, despite chronic low tension conflict, a brief but intense period of high-level conflict and post-conflict reconstruction.

OBJECTIVE: To assess TB control in East Timor from 1996 to 2004.

DESIGN: Data were collected from a variety of sources. Key TB programme indicators were analysed with reference to WHO targets to assess the performance of the three TB control programmes that operated during the study period.

RESULTS: Before 1999, a non-governmental TB control programme was established in several districts in parallel with the government TB programme, and showed optimistic results. External donor funds, technical assistance and local control strategies were key components. In 1999, conflict led to complete disruption of both programmes. In 2000, a National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP) was established from the non-governmental programme in collaboration with other partners. The smear-positive TB case notification rate of 108 per 100000 population is the highest in the region and reflects high population coverage. The cure rate of 81% is close to reaching the WHO target.

CONCLUSION: High-quality TB control has been introduced in conflict-affected East Timor. Further research is needed to examine Timorese approaches to inform other, similar settings.

Keywords: East Timor; epidemiology; health services; tuberculosis; war

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia; Faculty of Public Health, Universidade da Paz, Dili, East Timor; and Institute of Advanced Studies, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia 2: Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway; and Caritas Norway, Oslo, Norway 3: National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Dili, East Timor; and Caritas Dili, Dili, East Timor 4: Ministry of Health, Democratic Republic of Timor Leste (RDTL), Dili, East Timor 5: Caritas Norway, Oslo, Norway; and Caritas Dili, Dili, East Timor

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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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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