Intensive TB Case Finding in Unsafe Settings: Testing an Outreach Peer Education Intervention for Increased TB Case Detection among Displaced Populations and Host Communities in South-Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo


Introduction: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the high-burden TB countries in the world. The most affected provinces were North and South Kivu where displacements of the population favor transmission of infections. Delays in diagnosis are often causes for excessive mortality among TB patients. Aim of the Study: The study aimed to test an intervention designed to increase detection of TB cases in internally displaced persons and their host communities in South Kivu province. Methods: The project used a quasi-experimental method, with prospective data collection every six months. Two peri-urban districts were selected and designated as intervention and control districts respectively. Twenty peer educators were selected among prospective TB suspects who sought care in health facilities. The peer educators were trained and encouraged to actively influence, identify and refer potential TB suspects to health centers. The data on new TB suspects seen and cases diagnosed in both districts were collected and compared over two and a half years period. Results: This pilot study has demonstrated that the intervention has had some positive effects on both the number of persons suspected with TB who were diagnosed using either microscopy or clinical assessment. Even in terms of case detection, the study demonstrated that the number of cases detected in the intervention district was at least twice the number of cases detected in the control district. Conclusion: Nonprofessional educators can influence TB case detection even in unstable settings, but their effectiveness is dependent on the security situation. National TB control programs need to adapt community mobilization strategies to local developments even in unsafe settings.

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Mukungo, S. and Kaboru, B. (2014) Intensive TB Case Finding in Unsafe Settings: Testing an Outreach Peer Education Intervention for Increased TB Case Detection among Displaced Populations and Host Communities in South-Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo. Journal of Tuberculosis Research, 2, 160-167. doi: 10.4236/jtr.2014.24020.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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