ethiopia tb detection

APOPO’s TB detection rat facility in Addis Ababa is built in the premises of Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI), a federal government institute that is the main partner and host of the project. We are contributing towards the national TB control effort from two different angles: finding the missed cases among symptomatic patients and finding TB among non-symptomatic but high-risk population (prison inmates) across the country

Background

The TB prevalence in sub Saharan Africa is very high compared with the rest of the world.  Ethiopia ranks seventh among the 30 high burden countries with an incidence of 207 cases per 100,000 capita.  Like in other African countries, co-infection with HIV is an important factor reaching 23% in the capital city, Addis Ababa.

As globally recommended by the WHO, DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course) is one of the most important components of the National TB strategy in Ethiopia.  In addition to DOTS, community based TB care and control interventions have been implemented through Health Extension Program. Despite the implementation of these strategies, the TB case detection rate remains below 50%. One of the main reasons is the lack of a simple, fast and accurate diagnostic method.

 

 

APOPO-AHRI Tuberculosis Project

The AHRI-APOPO project has two lines of research: enhanced case finding among presumptive TB cases attending TB clinics in Addis Ababa and mass screening of inmates and prison staff in 35 prisons across Ethiopia so as to find active TB cases.

The enhanced case finding project aims to contribute to the national tuberculosis control program of Ethiopia by increasing the number of identified TB patients by at least 35% in the short term, whilst building a local capacity of TB detection rats and quality personnel to create a long term impact on reducing the TB problem in Ethiopia. Skoll Foundation granted funding for the (construction of the facility and equipment procurement and 2 years operation. Since March 2018, 42 public health centers in Addis Ababa city are participating and about 350 patients that were missed by the conventional diagnostic method were found through this project. We are collaborating with the Addis Ababa City Administration Health Bureau and the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program for a timely treatment initiation for patients that are caught through this project. We are also aiming to increase the number of participating public and private health facilities at least to 75.

The prison active case finding project aims to screen 52,500 prison inmates and staff in 35 prisons all over the country. It is anticipated to find active TB cases that serve as a TB reservoir in the general population in general and the prison community in particular. Ten prisons will be covered in the first year (2018), 13 in the second (2019) and 12 in the third year (2020). Ten prisons are already selected, advocacy and sensitization workshops conducted and ready to launch the screening activity very soon.

We read a lot in the scientific literature about APOPO’s approach to tuberculosis diagnosis. We also watched exciting news about this project in the international media and we are very glad to partner with and host the project at our institute. We look forward to replicating the success reported from Tanzania and Mozambique here in Ethiopia. 

Taye Tolera Balcha, MD, MPH, PhD, Director General | AHRI

ETHIOPIA partners and donors