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Free Content Association between tuberculosis treatment outcomes and the mobile antiretroviral therapy programme in Zambia

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SETTING: Free antiretroviral therapy (ART) services in Zambia were introduced in hospitals beginning in 2005 and in selected rural health centres (RHCs) beginning in 2007 through the mobile ART programme.

OBJECTIVE: To analyse the impact of scaling up ART services on tuberculosis (TB) treatment outcomes in Mumbwa District, Zambia.

DESIGN: TB patients registered at all RHCs in the district between July 2006 and September 2009 were reviewed. RHCs were divided into two groups: ‘ART sites’, which provided ART services after 2007, and ‘non-ART sites’, which did not provide such services even after 2007. A before-after comparison analysis of TB patients was conducted between the groups.

RESULTS: A total of 732 patients were enrolled (median age 34.5 years; female 44.4%). The overall human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing rate was 72.3% and 66.7% of these patients were HIV-positive. The TB treatment success rate at the ART sites increased significantly compared to non-ART sites after the mobile ART programme was started (P < 0.01). The HIV testing acceptance rate also increased dramatically at ART sites, which facilitated intensified case finding (P = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: Scaling up ART services in rural health facilities through the mobile ART programme was found to be associated with greatly improved anti-tuberculosis treatment outcomes.

Keywords: HIV; Zambia; rural health centres; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Japan International Cooperation Agency, Zambia Office, Lusaka, Zambia; and National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Tokyo, Japan 2: Mumbwa District Medical Office, Mumbwa, Zambia 3: Department of Clinical Care and Diagnostic Services, Ministry of Health, Lusaka, Zambia

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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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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