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March 24 – World Tuberculosis Day

25 March 2024 |  Press Release

SIERRA LEONEFighting tuberculosisInfectious and emerging diseases

To mark World TB Day, two studies conducted as part of the TB-Speed project have been published in eClinicalMedicine.

The aim of these studies was to assess the impact of decentralized diagnosis on the detection of cases of tuberculosis in children. Indeed, less than half of the one million children affected by tuberculosis each year remain undiagnosed, as diagnosis requires specific procedures for taking samples for testing, clinical expertise and proper interpretation of chest X-rays. In countries with limited resources, these diagnostic capabilities are lacking at the peripheral levels of health services where the majority of children come for treatment. In 2022, the World Health Organization recommended the decentralization of childhood tuberculosis services to improve access to care in peripheral health centers.

The findings of these studies show that decentralization of childhood TB diagnosis can improve TB case detection and help reduce infant mortality, but its implementation needs to take into account the low incidence of TB and the limited resources available at peripheral health centers. Sensitivity analyses suggest that decentralization targeted at geographical areas with a very high prevalence of tuberculosis is likely to be cost-effective.

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