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Community-based active-case finding for tuberculosis: navigating a complex minefield

MacPherson, Peter, Shaunabe, Kwame, Phiri, Mphatso, Rickman, Hannah M., Horton, Katherine C., Feasey, Helena R. A., Corbett, Elizabeth L., Burke, Rachael M. and Rangaka, Molebogeng X. (2024) 'Community-based active-case finding for tuberculosis: navigating a complex minefield'. BMC Global and Public Health, Vol 2, Issue 1.

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Community-based active case finding (ACF) for tuberculosis (TB) involves an offer of screening to populations at risk of TB, oftentimes with additional health promotion, community engagement and health service strengthening. Recently updated World Health Organization TB screening guidelines conditionally recommend expanded offer of ACF for communities where the prevalence of undiagnosed pulmonary TB is greater than 0.5% among adults, or with other structural risk factors for TB. Subclinical TB is thought to be a major contributor to TB transmission, and ACF, particularly with chest X-ray screening, could lead to earlier diagnosis. However, the evidence base for the population-level impact of ACF is mixed, with effectiveness likely highly dependent on the screening approach used, the intensity with which ACF is delivered, and the success of community- and health-system participation. With recent changes in TB epidemiology due to the effective scale-up of treatment for HIV in Africa, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the importance of subclinical TB, researchers and public health practitioners planning to implement ACF programmes must carefully and repeatedly consider the potential population and individual benefits and harms from these programmes. Here we synthesise evidence and experience from implementing ACF programmes to provide practical guidance, focusing on the selection of populations, screening algorithms, selecting outcomes, and monitoring and evaluation. With careful planning and substantial investment, community-based ACF for TB can be an impactful approach to accelerating progress towards elimination of TB in high-burden countries. However, ACF cannot and should not be a substitute for equitable access to responsive, affordable, accessible primary care services for all.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 200 Tuberculosis (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Clinical Sciences & International Health > Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Programme (MLW)
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2024 10:29
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 10:29


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