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Effects of Coronavirus Disease Pandemic on Tuberculosis Notifications, Malawi

Soko, Rebecca Nzawa, Burke, Rachael M, Feasey, Helena R A, Sibande, Wakumanya, Nliwasa, Marriott, Henrion, Marc, Khundi, McEwen, Dodd, Peter J, Ku, Chu Chang, Kawalazira, Gift, Choko, Augustine T, Divala, Titus H, Corbett, Elizabeth L and MacPherson, Peter ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0329-9613 (2021) 'Effects of Coronavirus Disease Pandemic on Tuberculosis Notifications, Malawi'. Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol 27, Issue 7, pp. 1831-1839.

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Abstract

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic might affect tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and patient care. We analyzed a citywide electronic TB register in Blantyre, Malawi and interviewed TB officers. Malawi did not have an official COVID-19 lockdown but closed schools and borders on March 23, 2020. In an interrupted time series analysis, we noted an immediate 35.9% reduction in TB notifications in April 2020; notifications recovered to near prepandemic numbers by December 2020. However, 333 fewer cumulative TB notifications were received than anticipated. Women and girls were affected more (30.7% fewer cases) than men and boys (20.9% fewer cases). Fear of COVID-19 infection, temporary facility closures, inadequate personal protective equipment, and COVID-19 stigma because of similar symptoms to TB were mentioned as reasons for fewer people being diagnosed with TB. Public health measures could benefit control of both TB and COVID-19, but only if TB diagnostic services remain accessible and are considered safe to attend.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QW Microbiology and Immunology > Viruses > QW 160 Viruses (General). Virology
WA Public Health > WA 105 Epidemiology
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Viral Respiratory Tract Infections. Respirovirus Infections > WC 505 Viral respiratory tract infections
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 200 Tuberculosis (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Programme (MLW)
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2707.210557
Depositing User: Julie Franco
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2021 10:45
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2021 10:45
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/18835

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