TB REACH project Ethiopia-LSTM wins prestigious medal in Ethiopia

News article 2 May 2013

The TB REACH project Ethiopia-LSTM and its outcomes were presented at the 8th Annual Conference of the TB Research Advisory Committee, Federal Ministry of Health, Addis Ababa, March 21-24, 2013

The project aims to increase the identification of TB cases and improve treatment outcome by implementing a package that increases awareness of the disease and brings diagnostics and treatment for TB closer to the community.  The presentation, called “Innovative community-based approaches doubled Tuberculosis case notification and improve treatment outcome in Southern Ethiopia” was presented by Dr Daniel Datiko, Field Director (and far right on the picture), who explained:

“During two years of project implementation we examined 144,986 individuals in the community, diagnosed 8,950 cases with smear-positive and 12,572 with all forms of TB.  These represented a doubling of the number of cases reported and treated in previous years.  The project decentralized diagnosis and treatment provision to the community, conducted contact tracing and provided Isoniazid prophylaxis for asymptomatic children living with adults with TB.  The number of individuals screened and diagnosed with TB has increased dramatically in the last two years. The proportion of women screened and diagnosed with TB has also increased compared to the proportions diagnosed at fixed health facilities in the past, with 60% and 54% of people screened and diagnosed being women. The project increased community awareness and case finding and improved treatment success. These included gains for all patients in general and especially among women, children, elderly and individuals with limited access to health services.”

This reward adds a second gold to the project, as the team had been awarded a Gold Medal at the 6th TB Research Advisory Committee meeting in Gondar, Ethiopia in 2011.  A paper describing the package and its outcomes will appear soon in PLOS One (Yassin, M et al 2013).