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Free Content Tuberculosis among nomads in Adamawa, Nigeria: outcomes from two years of active case finding

BACKGROUND: Nomadic populations are often isolated and have difficulty accessing health care, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Although Nigeria has one of the highest tuberculosis (TB) burdens in Africa, case detection rates remain relatively low.

METHODS: Active case finding for TB among nomadic populations was implemented over a 2-year period in Adamawa State. A total of 378 community screening days were organised with local leaders; community volunteers provided treatment support. Xpert® MTB/RIF was available for nomads with negative smear results.

RESULTS: Through active case finding, 96 376 nomads were verbally screened, yielding 1310 bacteriologically positive patients. The number of patients submitting sputum for smear microscopy statewide increased by 112% compared with the 2 years before the intervention. New smear-positive notifications increased by 49.5%, while notifications of all forms of TB increased by 24.5% compared with expected notifications based on historical trends. Nomads accounted for respectively 31.4% and 26.0% of all smear-positive and all forms TB notifications. Pre-treatment loss to follow-up and treatment outcomes were similar among nomads and non-nomads.

DISCUSSION: Nomads in Nigeria have high TB rates, and active case-finding approaches may be useful in identifying and successfully treating them. Large-scale interventions in vulnerable populations can improve TB case detection.

Keywords: Adamawa; Nigeria; TB; Xpert® MTB/RIF; active case finding; nomads

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Adamawa State Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, Yola, Nigeria; KNCV TB CARE 1, Abuja, Nigeria 2: KNCV TB CARE 1, Abuja, Nigeria 3: Netherlands Leprosy Relief, Jos, Nigeria 4: University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 5: Stop TB Partnership, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: April 1, 2015

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