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Rats for TB control in Maputo city

maputo TB detectionMozambique is ranked by the World Health Organization as a global 'high TB-burden country' that faces one of the highest TB prevalence rates in the world. APOPO's TB project in Mozambique was designed to replicate the successful results of the TB detection rats in Tanzania. It contributes to the Mozambican National TB Control Program by effectively increasing the number of identified TB patients in the city of Maputo.

APOPO has built and equipped a TB detection rat facility at the Vet School of the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo. A total of 16 health centers in the city of Maputo are collaborating with the project, providing sputum samples of TB suspected patients. APOPO rats evaluate all suspected samples, indicating additional TB cases initially missed by microscopy tests performed at health centers. Those samples indicated by the rats are confirmed by LED microscopy, a more sensitive laboratory technique. The additional positive samples detected by the rats are communicated back to the health centers, thus allowing them to trace the patients back and start them on TB treatment.

A new operational strategy was implemented in October 2015, allowing APOPO to deliver test results to the clinics in less than 24 hours. When patients pick up the result of smear microscopy performed at the clinic laboratories they now also receive the APOPO test results. The aim is to reduce patient tracking and increase treatment initiation.

APOPO also seeks to increase the number of collaborating health centers, both in the city of Maputo and the rest of the country. A number of clinical and epidemiological studies are being planned to further strengthen the APOPO detection rat technology.

As a summary, thousands of TB cases which otherwise would be missed by conventional microscopy will be diagnosed by APOPO's innovative technology and will be treated effectively by the National TB Program.


APOPO TB Mozambique partners with the Mozambican Ministry of Health and the Eduardo Mondlane University through a series of institutions, namely the National Institute of Health, the National TB Control Program, Medicine and Veterinary Schools, the Maputo City Health Directorate, and the Maputo City Council Department of Health. Our donors include FICA, Carraresi Foundation, the Swiss Development Cooperation, USAID and the Government of Flanders.

Nuelma, TB lab technician

Nuelma, TB lab technician

When I heard that APOPO were looking for a lab technician I jumped at the chance.

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