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Free Content Notification of patients with tuberculosis detected in the private sector, Tehran, Iran

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the case notification rate of patients with tuberculosis (TB) detected by private laboratories, in Tehran, Iran.

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

METHOD: All confirmed TB cases among suspected cases referred to private laboratories for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) examination in 2002–2003 were enrolled in the study. All AFB-positive cases were followed up for notification to the Iranian Ministry of Health (MOH) National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP).

RESULTS: Of the total number of cases referred to private laboratories, 646 AFB-positive cases were followed up. Of these, 317 (49.1%) cases were female and 328 (50.8%) were male; the mean age was 52.2 years (SD ± 21.7). Patients were contacted either at their residence or by telephone: 82 were found to be registered with the MOH while 564 (87.3%) could not be traced. A positive correlation was detected between physician advice for patient referral to health centres and case registration by the MOH (Fisher's Exact test 0.000).

CONCLUSION: The private sector in Tehran plays a significant role in TB detection, but there are major gaps in the collaboration between the private and public health systems.

Keywords: laboratories; notification; private sector; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Research Centre of Mycobacteriology, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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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