Improving TB identification and treatment in northern Uganda

The world is experiencing a TB crisis; 2015 experienced 10.4 million new cases, of which 1.2 million were in people living with HIV. USAID’s long-term outcomes are to reduce the TB incidence rate by 90% and to reduce deaths due to TB by 95% by 2035. In the medium-term (by 2019), USAID seeks to:

  • Reduce TB incidence rate by 25%.
  • Maintain TB treatment success rates of 90% for individuals with drug-susceptible TB.
  • Successfully treat 13 million TB patients.
  • Initiative drugs for 360,000 drug-resistant patients. 
  • Provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 100% of the TB/HIV infected patients.

For over two decades, URC has worked with 20 of the 22 countries that, collectively, represent 80% of the global TB burden, to combat the disease.

As we observe World TB Day today, we’d like to share what the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project has been accomplishing in northern Uganda to fight this pervasive disease.

USAID’s strategic objectives for TB include improving access to high quality, patient-centered TB, drug-resistant TB, and TB/HIV services. To this end, the USAID ASSIST project has been working to improve the following services:

  • TB case notification by promoting effective interventions for TB case finding
  • ART initiation for TB/HIV co-infected patients
  • Pediatric TB case identification
  • Utilization of TB diagnostic services

By focusing on better planning, improving patient flow, triage, and sputum collection and ensuring regular follow-up, USAID ASSIST has observed vast improvements in identification and treatment.

Between 2015 and 2016, we saw a 90% increase in the number of new cases identified. In addition, 120% more TB/HIV patients were identified and put on treatment. We also observed a 100% increase in the number of women with TB who were diagnosed and put on treatment. Overall, 125 participants from 10 districts in northern Uganda were trained and engaged in developing plans to improve the TB case notification rate.

 

USAID ASSIST/Uganda staff
USAID ASSIST/Uganda staff gather at a conference.
Date 
March 24, 2017
Authors 
Sabina Behague, Communications Specialist
Regions/ Countries