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Global problems
P2-402 TB diagnostic interventions in resource poor areas: the role of sputum fixers in Tanzania
  1. C Makafu,
  2. Z Mkomwa,
  3. M Makame,
  4. F Numvire,
  5. G Munuo,
  6. M Tungaraza,
  7. J Mugyabuso,
  8. E Bavu,
  9. I Makame
  1. PATH, Tanzania


Introduction TB is among of the major public health problem in Tanzania. The National TB and leprosy program among of their strategy is intensive case finding which has drawbacks taking the fact that Tanzania is a developing country. The coverage of diagnostic centers is very low and some areas are located very interior that it takes hours to reach the diagnostic centers. PATH Tanzania decided to introduce a cadre called sputum fixers; these are community owned resource persons. They screen the community looking for TB suspects. These TB suspects are those with complain of cough. They fix their sputum on slides and send them to the diagnostic centers. These sputum fixers are given bicycles to transport these slides to the laboratories for analysis.

Methods Ten sputum fixers were identified in five districts in Tanzania whereby the sputum of suspects were fixed and sent to laboratory for analysis. Two sputum specimens were taken to the laboratory from each suspect. Any sputum positive of the two slides taken was regarded TB patients.

Results Out of 1195 suspects whose sputum were taken to laboratory for analysis 137(8.7%) were AFB sputum positive.

Conclusion Introduction of community owned resource persons (sputum fixers) helps in case identification and increase case detection and hence reducing incidence rate after proper treatment.

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