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Routine surveillance for the identification of drug resistant Tuberculosis in Tanzania: A cross-sectional study of stakeholders’ perceptions

Doulla, Basra, Squire, Bertie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7173-9038, MacPherson, Eleanor, Ngadaya, ES, Mutayoba, BK and Langley, Ivor ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9275-6731 (2019) 'Routine surveillance for the identification of drug resistant Tuberculosis in Tanzania: A cross-sectional study of stakeholders’ perceptions'. PLoS ONE, Vol 14, Issue 2, e0212421.

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Abstract

Background
Routine surveillance is required to monitor the performance of tuberculosis diagnostic programme and is essential for the rapid detection of drug resistance. The main objective of this study was to explore the effectiveness and stakeholder perception of the current routine surveillance system for previously treated tuberculosis cases in Tanzania with a view to identify interventions to improve and accelerate positive patient outcomes.
Methods
A study using quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection including in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with health care service providers was conducted in four regions. Quantitative data were extracted from the routine databases to assess performance.
Results
Quantitative findings from 2011 to 2013 showed 2,750 specimens from previously treated TB cases were received at the reference laboratory. The number increased year on year, but even in the most recent year was only 61% of that expected. The median and interquartile range of turnaround time in days from specimen reception to results reported for smear microscopy, culture and drug susceptibility testing were 1(1, 1), 61(43, 71) and 129(72, 170) respectively. Contaminated specimens were reported in 3.6% of cases. The qualitative analysis showed the system of sending specimens using postal services was seen to be efficient by participants. However, there were many challenges and significant delays in specimens reaching the reference laboratory associated with lack of funds to transfer specimens, weak form completion, inadequate training and poor supervision. These all adversely affected the implementation of the routine surveillance system.
Conclusions
Many issues limit the effectiveness of the routine surveillance system in Tanzania. Priority areas for strengthening are; specimen transportation, supervision and availability of commodities. A pilot study of a revised routine surveillance system that takes into account the observations from this study alongside improved access to drug susceptibility testing using Xpert MTB/RIF should be considered.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 110 Prevention and control of communicable diseases. Transmission of infectious diseases
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WB Practice of Medicine > Therapeutics > WB 330 Drug therapy
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 200 Tuberculosis (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0212421
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 10:17
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2019 15:43
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/10233

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