TC TB Active Case Finding
The project was started in March 2018 and will run until 2020. Funding was provided by The Global Fund in 2017 through the National Tuberculosis Center. The project's objectives are to raise awareness of tuberculosis in rural communities in Pakkading and Pakxan Districts of Bolikhamxay, to identify presumed cases of tuberculosis through screening, and to refer patients to be tested in Health Centres for final diagnosis.
A team of HPP Field Officers work together with local Health Centre volunteers on all project activities. Villagers are invited to awareness raising meetings, and the Field Officers go from door to door to conduct screenings of people in areas of presumed high tuberculosis prevalence. In total, 57 villages in two Districts of Bolikhamxay Province will be reached with a total of 43,000 beneficiaries. The Field Officers will support all diagnosed tuberculosis patients throughout their recovery journey. To this end, patients' families and peers are encouraged to provide support. For instance, patients and two nominated family members or friends form a group, a so called Trio, in which the latter ensure daily medication intake of the patient, and further support them through their treatment. The Trios are taught how to improve their nutrition, and receive seeds and ducklings to grow vegetables and raise small animals. The aim is to boost and strengthen the patients’ immune systems for a quick as well as holistic recovery process, and the overall establishment of a healthier lifestyle.
- Authorities recognize that tuberculosis prevalence in Laos might be much higher than the statistics show.
- Historically, donors and authorities have allocated few resources to efforts aimed at identifying tuberculosis cases.
- Many people in rural areas have restricted access to health clinics, and even severe tuberculosis cases are often not discovered and diagnosed. Tuberculosis patients are commonly diagnosed by chance when they seek medical help for other issues, and thus often diagnosis comes too late. Consequently, families and neighbours are at great risk to be infected by undiagnosed tuberculosis sufferers.
- Even when diagnosed, many tuberculosis patients do not adhere to their treatment regime and receive little to no support during recovery.
- Most Health Centre staff need training in how to recognise and treat tuberculosis cases.
HPP Laos’ TC TB project is people-centered and integrated into local structures. One essential part of our methodology is to act as a catalyst for people to coordinate their efforts in controlling and eventually eliminating the disease. Our approach builds on the experiences from several successful tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS interventions by various members of the global HPP Movement worldwide. As in all HPP Laos projects, the Field Officers live in the villages, thereby getting to know communities and gaining their trust, and are thus well-positioned to seek participatory collaboration with community members.