Active case finding among vulnerable group with limited access to Tuberculosis in 10 provinces of Afghanistan

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Afghanistan is the second highest TB-burdened country in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and one of the 22 high TB-burden countries in the world, with an estimated incidence of all TB cases at 189 per 100,000 populations per year means annual incidence of 53000 for all TB cases and it is estimated that about 11000 patients die to TB each year.

To tackle the mentioned problem, Ministry of Public Health promote early detection of smear positive pulmonary case through sputum smear examination, organize treatment delivery to ensure effective, standardized chemotherapy for all diagnosed patients, providing supervision of program activities at various levels of the system, developed national guidelines for tuberculosis control program, providing continuous training for all program staff at various system levels, and integrated tuberculosis control activities into all health care provider activities being carried out in the country.

The existing approaches for TB control within the primary health care system are mainly passive case finding there is need to initiate innovative approach to reach those are not reached yet and detected TB cases among them.

The National TB Control Program took innovative step to submit proposal to stop TB Partnership. The review performed by the Proposal Review Committee (PRC) of Stop TB Partnership and finally 30 proposals were approved. NTP Afghanistan proposal got approval by highest grade of A.

The main component activities in this proposal are to increase the sputum smear positive care detection rate through:

1.) Active case finding among household contacts in 10 provinces of the country named Kabul, Bamyan, Panjsher, Daikundi, Laghman, Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghland, Kunduz and Herat.

2.) Active case finding among prisoners in Kabul and Herat provinces.

3.) Active case finding among in Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Kabul, Herat and Kunduz.

4.) Strengthening suspect management in the Health Facilities in Kabul, Bamyan, Panjsher, Daikundi, Laghman, Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, and Herat provinces.

The implementing organization for this project is National Tuberculosis Control Program, which will manage the project through external budget and provide the technical report both the Ministry of Public Health as well as funding agency.

The leadership of Ministry of Public Health appreciates the hard work of National Tuberculosis Control Program in taking this initiative and we are sure that through active case findings among more vulnerable population in Afghanistan the Tuberculosis control activity will further improve and manage in the country.