“Tuberculosis contact investigation in African Portuguese-speaking countries at End TB Strategy era: a scoping review” is the title of the work performed by the GHTM-IHMT researchers Regina Loesch, Rafaela Ribeiro e Cláudia Conceição, focused on recommended and adopted processes on active contact investigation of the TB index case in African Portuguese-speaking countries (PALOP).
In the XXI century, tuberculosis (TB) remains a serious public health problem worldwide. Despite all the efforts for TB control, 10.0 million new cases of TB and 1.41 million TB deaths were estimated in 2019. More than 95% of incident cases and deaths due to TB occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
The contact investigation of TB index case – the first identified case of new or recurrent TB in a specific setting – is one of the basilar stones for the early diagnosis of TB, and part of the strategy of the End TB program. For LMICs, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests investigation of household and close contacts of every pulmonary TB case and recommends a contact investigation conducted whenever the index case. The standardisation, adoption and maintenance of periodic actions are also crucial for TB control, however these efforts could be compromised given the limited resources of the healthcare services in these countries.
Bearing in mind the context of African Portuguese-speaking countries (PALOP), the GHTM-IHMT investigators have conducted a scoping review aimed to map out the recommended and the adopted processes applied to active contact investigation of TB index case in PALOP. Therefore, the authors performed a comprehensive literature search with no restrictions to language, study design or source of information.
This review enumerates the challenges of TB control and highlights the scarcity of references on TB contact investigation in PALOP at the End TB Strategy era. The obtained results revealed that “the recommended processes for TB contact investigation were identified only for Cape Verde and Mozambique”, and “the adopted processes were detected only in research studies from Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique”.
Furthermore, the results sustained “the importance of an information system that provides actual data for assessing the real impact of such interventions in controlling the disease in African Portuguese-speaking countries”.
Read here the details of the investigation, recently published at BMJ Open.
GHTM researchers performed the first review focused on recommended and adopted processes on active contact investigation of the TB index case in African Portuguese-speaking countries (PALOP).