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Open Access A review of tuberculosis contact investigations in the poor urban areas of Manila, The Philippines

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Setting: Socio-economically underprivileged areas in the Philippines.

Objective: To review the implementation of tuberculosis (TB) contact investigations in the urban poor areas of Manila and Quezon City.

Design: A descriptive cross-sectional study based on a review of data from household contact registries in local government unit (LGU) and non-government organisation (NGO) facilities during January–December 2012 in Manila and Quezon City. Free discussion sessions were also conducted among health-care workers.

Results: Of 6161 children and adult household contacts listed in the LGUs and 1893 in the NGOs, 17% (n = 1086) in the LGUs and 95% (n = 1800) in the NGOs were evaluated. The yield of clinically diagnosed TB among children aged <15 years was 10.2% (127/1245) in the LGUs and 8.4% (63/752) in the NGOs. The yield of isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) for those aged <5 years was 23.1% (124/537) in the LGUs and 28.0% (78/279) in the NGOs. The NGOs produced a high yield of IPT due to a better logistical system that ensured the availability of supplies and systematic home visits.

Conclusion: Screening of household contacts in poor urban areas appears to be effective; it increased the number of children aged <15 years eligible for IPT and should be expanded as an intervention strategy for TB control in the Philippines.
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Keywords: TB; children; household; isoniazid preventive therapy; latent

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Institute of Tuberculosis/Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association (RIT/JATA) Philippines, Manila, The Philippines 2: Department of Paediatrics, National Hospital Organisation Minami-Kyoto Hospital, Kyoto, Japan 3: Manila Health Department, Manila, The Philippines 4: Quezon City Health Department, Quezon City, The Philippines 5: National Capital Region Office, Department of Health, Mandaluyong, The Philippines 6: Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, Department of Health, Manila, The Philippines 7: Research Institute of Tuberculosis/Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association (RIT/JATA) Philippines, Manila, The Philippines, RIT/JATA, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: December 21, 2016

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  • Public Health Action (PHA), The Union's quarterly open access on-line journal, provides a platform for its mission 'Health solutions for the poor'. PHA addresses the need for show-casing operational research that addresses issues in health systems and services. It publishes high-quality scientific research that provides new knowledge to improve access, equity, quality and efficiency of health systems and services.

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