An evaluation of 'Ribolola': a household tuberculosis contact tracing programme in North West Province, South Africa

D Thind, S Charalambous, A Tongman, G Churchyard, A D Grant
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2012, 16 (12): 1643-8

SETTING: Rural/peri-urban community, South Africa.

OBJECTIVES: To examine the yield of tuberculosis (TB) cases, TB preventive therapy (TBPT) initiation and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnoses from household TB contact tracing.

DESIGN: Retrospective programme analysis.

METHODS: Households of index TB cases were visited and their contacts screened for TB and HIV. TB suspects provided sputum or were referred for assessment. Contacts aged <5 years were referred for assessment for TBPT initiation.

RESULTS: There were 732 index TB cases (67.1% HIV-positive). Among 3627 household contacts, 3573 (98.5%) had known outcomes, of which 183 (5.0%) were already on appropriate treatment. Among 3390 remaining contacts, 361 (10.6%) were aged <5 years, of whom 34 (9.4%) started anti-tuberculosis treatment and 286 (79.2%) started TBPT. Among 3029 contacts aged ≥5 years, 93 (3.1%) started anti-tuberculosis treatment: 19 (20.4%) were smear-positive and 71 (76.3%) were culture-positive. Among contacts aged ≥14 years, 794/2133 (37.2%) underwent HIV testing, of whom 208/794 (26.2%) tested positive.

CONCLUSIONS: Household active case finding in this high TB and HIV prevalence setting obtained high yields of TB, particularly in those aged <5 years, and facilitated assessment for TBPT. There was a good yield of new HIV diagnoses, and a gain in efficiency due to integration within one programme.

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