Tuberculosis was declared a national emergency in Mozambique in March 2006. APOPO supports the country’s Ministry of Health TB control program. Our TB detection research program in Maputo help identify a maximum number of TB patients in the shortest possible time, assuring they can start a timely treatment.
Mozambique is ranked by the World Health Organization as a global 'high TB-burden country' that faces one of the highest TB incidence 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 Mozambique TB Detection
APOPO built and equipped a TB detection rat facility at and with support from the Vet School of the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo in 2012.
A total of 14 health centers in the city of Maputo are now collaborating with the research project by providing sputum samples of TB suspected patients. APOPO TB-Detection rats (TBDR) re-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 that is internationally endorsed. The confirmed additional positive samples detected by the TBDR are communicated back to the health centers, thus allowing them to trace the patients back and start them on TB treatment.
24 Hour Results
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 increase treatment initiation and reduce time and effort in patient tracking to deliver results after they have left the clinics.
APOPO plans to increase the number of collaborating health centers, both in the city of Maputo and the rest of the country in order to offer access to enhance diagnostics to as many people as possible. A number of clinical and epidemiological studies are being planned to further strengthen the APOPO detection rat technology. As a high TB-burden country, raising the clinic detection rate of tuberculosisin Mozambique is APOPO's main goal.