DETECT Child TB Project launched in Uganda

DETECT Child TB project launched in Uganda

In Uganda, children under 15 years of age account for only 7% of all TB cases reported to the Ministry of Health’s National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme (NTLP) each year; yet studies show that child TB could be about 17% of all TB cases notified.  On 11 June, a new project was launched in Kampala that aims to address this disparity.

The DETECT Child TB Project will Decentralise TB services and Engage Communities to Transform lives of Children with TB. The goal of the project is to strengthen district- and community-level healthcare delivery in two districts, Wakiso and Kabarole, to improve childhood TB case finding, treatment and prevention. The project is designed to develop and test a model that can be applied at different levels of health care to address the health system challenges that are currently contributing to low detection of TB among children

Some of the reasons for the low detection of TB in children include: the commonest specimen examined to detect TB (sputum) is difficult to obtain from children, especially those under five years old; even if sputum is obtained, the most common tests used for examining sputum ­– smear microscopy and MTB/Rif Xpert – frequently produce negative results; health workers at peripheral health care facilities have limited skills and lack the confidence to diagnose TB in children due to lack of training; and contact screening,  which is known to increase TB case finding among children, is not done by the majority of health facilities.

The project launch was attended by distinguished guests, including the Local Council 5 Chairman for Kabarole District, the Secretary for Health for Wakiso District Local Government, representatives from the ELMA Philanthropies Services, East Africa, Ministry of Health officials, representatives from development and implementing partners and The Union staff.

DETECT Child TB will be coordinated by The Union Uganda Office and implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Mildmay Uganda, Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation Uganda and Wakiso and Kabarole District Local Governments. Funding for the project is provided by the ELMA Foundation and an anonymous gift to The Union North America (UNA).


Photos: Homepage, Copyright 2012 Basil Safi, courtesy of Photoshare; this page, courtesy of The Union Uganda Office