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Free Content Improving screening and chemoprophylaxis among child contacts in India's RNTCP: a pilot study

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BACKGROUND: While contact screening and chemoprophylaxis is recommended by India's Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme for asymptomatic children aged <6 years who are household contacts of smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients, implementation is suboptimal.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of an isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) register and card in improving the adherence of health care workers (HCWs) to programmatic guidelines.

METHODOLOGY: This prospective study was conducted in two Tuberculosis Units in South India. Child contacts of smear-positive PTB patients initiated on treatment between November 2009 and January 2010 were screened, and IPT was initiated in asymptomatic children. HCWs were trained in the use of the IPT register and card. The process was evaluated using patient and HCW interviews.

RESULTS: Of 87 children identified aged <6 years, 71 (82%) were traced by HCWs; 53 were screened for TB and initiated on IPT, and 39 completed treatment. HCWs expressed satisfaction with the use of the IPT card and register, saying that it helped them to remember to complete required tasks.

CONCLUSION: In a programme setting, with HCW training and introduction of specific documentation (IPT card and register), implementation of contact tracing and chemoprophylaxis for child contacts improved from 19% to 61%.
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Keywords: IPT; RNTCP; contact screening

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (formerly Tuberculosis Research Centre), Chennai, India 2: Stop TB Department, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland 3: Tuberculosis Unit, Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Vellore, India

Publication date: 2013-02-01

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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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