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Free Content Private practitioners' contributions to the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme in a South Indian district

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SETTING: Tumkur District, South India.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the participation of for-profit, formal private practitioners (PPs) under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme's (RNTCP's) public-private mix (PPM) schemes and document their contribution to RNTCP pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) case finding.

DESIGN: RNTCP reports at district TB centre were reviewed. PPs were mapped and their referrals of presumptive TB cases to the RNTCP during 2011 were assessed using laboratory registers at designated microscopy centres (DMCs).

RESULTS: None of the 424 PPs had signed up for any PPM scheme. However, 22% made at least one referral to a DMC in 2011. PP referrals constituted 15% of the presumptive TB cases examined at the DMCs, and PPs contributed to 23% of the sputum smear-positive TB cases detected. Among PP referrals, the proportion of confirmed smear-positive cases was high (24%).

CONCLUSION: Fifteen years after the start of PPM, formal engagement of PPs with RNTCP was non-existent. However, PPs do refer cases to the RNTCP and contribute to a fraction of TB case detection. The high proportion of confirmed sputum smear-positive cases suggests that PPs tend to make selective referrals. More efforts are needed to promote the engagement of PPs in the RNTCP.
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Keywords: RNTCP; private practitioners; public-private mix schemes; pulmonary tuberculosis; referrals

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Public Health, Bangalore, India; Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium 2: Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium 3: Department of Health and Family Welfare, Bangalore, India 4: Institute of Public Health, Bangalore, India 5: Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium; Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Publication date: 2016-05-01

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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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