Screening childhood contacts of patients with smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis in Malawi

N J M Claessens, F F Gausi, S Meijnen, M M Weismuller, F M Salaniponi, A D Harries
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2002, 6 (4): 362-4
A survey was conducted by the National Tuberculosis Programme in 44 Malawian hospitals on screening young children aged 5 years or less in households of adults diagnosed with smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis. Of 659 hospitalised adult patients, 267 (41%) had a total of 365 young children; 56 (21%) adult patients had been informed about childhood screening, and in 31 (12%) some of their children were screened. Of the 365 young children, 33 (9%) were screened for TB--23 received isoniazid preventive therapy, six received anti-tuberculosis treatment, and in four no action was taken. Steps are needed to improve childhood screening procedures.

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