First TB-diabetes bi-directional screening pilot project completed
A 12-month pilot project testing the implementation of bi-directional screening for tuberculosis (TB) and diabetes mellitus (DM) in China ended in May 2012. China is the first country to pilot and complete a bi-directional screening project within the routine health system based on the WHO/Union Collaborative Framework for the Care and Control of Tuberculosis and Diabetes published last year.
The project was conceived at National Stakeholders' Meeting in May 2011. The Union was represented by Prof Anthony Harries, Director of the Department of Research, and Dr Lin Yan, Director of The Union China Office. Other partners in the project were were the World Health Organization, the World Diabetes Foundation and National Authorities for tuberculosis and diabetes in China.
The first module of the project, completed by July, involved briefing the 11 participating hospitals and clinics participating in the implementation procedures, the patient information required and quarterly reporting methods.
Module 2 of the project was a five-day meeting in May 2012 at which the experience and results from each hospital and clinic were reviewed and discussed. This led to development of two scientific papers – one on screening DM patients for TB and the other on screening TB patients for DM.
On 28 May, the second National Stakeholders' Meeting was held in Beijing, China. The 43 participants agreed that, based on the evidence from the pilot, the screening approach does work and should be continued in the 11 facilities. They also agreed that the project should be expanded to other facilities in the country, and that a simple, practical research agenda to learn more about the screening process should be developed. The two scientific papers have been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.
The pilot experience and lessons learned from China may be used by India who embarked on screening activities earlier this year. The pilots in both China and India have been funded by a grant from the World Diabetes Foundation.