Increasing tuberculosis case detection through intensive referral and tracing in Hunan, China
Abstract:OBJECTIVE: To explore a feasible approach to increase case finding of tuberculosis (TB) through intensive referral and tracing of TB suspects and patients.
METHODS: A quasi-experimental study was conducted in three Chinese cities. A strategic referral and tracing system was developed for the local situation in Hunan, China. Data from a 1-year monitoring of referral, tracing and diagnosis of TB suspects/cases were used to assess outcomes.
RESULTS: Among 126 public general hospitals and clinics in 38 project counties, the 124 (98.4%) health facilities that participated referred an average of 10 TB suspects and cases to the TB dispensary every month. A total of 6364 suspects and 5759 cases were referred. Compared to the previous year, the number of TB suspects increased by 102.1%, from 25 719 to 51 967; the referral of TB suspects increased five-fold; 10 596 new smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) cases were identified; and the notification of new smear-positive PTB increased by 112.9%, from 27.1/100 000 before the project year to 57.7/100 000, a significantly higher percentage than that of non-project areas, which had a notification rate of 38.8/100 000.
CONCLUSION: Intensive referral and tracing of TB suspects/patients is a feasible and effective method of increasing case finding. Strengthening administrative interventions and incentives is essential to achieve project objectives.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Department of Social Medicine, School of Public Health, Central South University, Changsha, China; Hunan Institute of Tuberculosis, Changsha, China 2: Hunan Institute of Tuberculosis, Changsha, China 3: Department of Disease Control, Hunan Provincial Health Bureau, Changsha, China 4: National Centre for Tuberculosis Control and Prevention, Beijing, China 5: Department of Social Medicine, School of Public Health, Central South University, Changsha, China
Publication date: December 1, 2008
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