The Union’s DETECT Child TB project in Uganda piloted a model of care for child TB with the result that diagnoses doubled. The model decentralised health services to detect and treat TB in children and conducted household contact tracing to ensure those at risk received preventive therapy.
TB preventive therapy for children at risk of developing active TB increased from five percent to 74 percent by the end of the pilot phase.
Following the success of this project, the Ugandan Ministry of Health, working through the National TB and Leprosy Programme (NTLP), scaled up this model of care to 10 new districts with support from the Global Fund.
The Union’s DETECT Child TB (Decentralise TB services and Engage Communities to Transform lives of Children with TB) was established in 2015 in two contrasting districts in Uganda –Kabarole, a rural district in western Uganda, and Wakiso, an urban or peri-urban setting in central Uganda. The project aimed to strengthen diagnosis, treatment and prevention of child TB in local health centres. Project staff trained healthcare workers at local health facilities to diagnose and treat child TB, and community healthcare workers were trained to screen people on TB treatment to ensure children in the household were identified for preventive therapy.
Results from the two districts showed that TB diagnoses doubled, as did the proportion of children diagnosed with TB among all TB cases – supporting estimations of a startling gap in child TB detection. TB preventive therapy for children at risk of developing TB increased from five percent to 74 percent by the end of the pilot phase. In addition, treatment completion – in both children and adults – increased from 65 percent to 82 percent.
The Union secured financing to continue this successful project past the pilot phase, the results of which were published in the IJTLD in 2018, with support from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.