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Balakrishnan S.,Office of the WHO Representative to India | Vijayan S.,International Union Against TB and Lung Diseases | Nair S.,Government Medical College | Subramoniapillai J.,Directorate of Health Services | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: While diabetes mellitus (DM) is a known risk factor for tuberculosis, the prevalence among TB patients in India is unknown. Routine screening of TB patients for DM may be an opportunity for its early diagnosis and improved management and might improve TB treatment outcomes. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of TB patients registered from June-July 2011 in the state of Kerala, India, to determine the prevalence of DM. Methodology/Principal Findings: A state-wide representative sample of TB patients in Kerala was interviewed and screened for DM using glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c); patients self-reporting a history of DM or those with HbA1c ≥6.5% were defined as diabetic. Among 552 TB patients screened, 243(44%) had DM - 128(23%) had previously known DM and 115(21%) were newly diagnosed - with higher prevalence among males and those aged >50years. The number needed to screen(NNS) to find one newly diagnosed case of DM was just four. Of 128 TB patients with previously known DM, 107(84%) had HbA1c ≥7% indicating poor glycemic control. Conclusions/Significance: Nearly half of TB patients in Kerala have DM, and approximately half of these patients were newly-diagnosed during this survey. Routine screening of TB patients for DM using HbA1c yielded a large number of DM cases and offered earlier management opportunities which may improve TB and DM outcomes. However, the most cost-effective ways of DM screening need to be established by futher operational research. © 2012 Balakrishnan et al.

Bharaswadkar S.,World Health Organization | Kanchar A.,World Health Organization | Thakur N.,Pune Municipal Corporation | Shah S.,Pune Municipal Corporation | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: Private Practitioners (PP) are the primary source of health care for patients in India. Limited representative information is available on TB management practices of Indian PP or on the efficacy of India's Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) to improve the quality of TB management through training of PP. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of a systematic random sample of PP in one urban area in Western India (Pune, Maharashtra). We presented sample clinical vignettes and determined the proportions of PPs who reported practices consistent with International Standards of TB Care (ISTC). We examined the association between RNTCP training and adherence to ISTC by calculating odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Results: Of 3,391 PP practicing allopathic medicine, 249 were interviewed. Of these, 55% had been exposed to RNTCP. For new pulmonary TB patients, 63% (158/249) of provider responses were consistent with ISTC diagnostic practices, and 34% (84/249) of responses were consistent with ISTC treatment practices. However, 48% (120/249) PP also reported use of serological tests for TB diagnosis. In the new TB case vignette, 38% (94/249) PP reported use of at least one second line anti-TB drug in the treatment regimen. RNTCP training was not associated with diagnostic or treatment practices. Conclusion: In Pune, India, despite a decade of training activities by the RNTCP, high proportions of providers resorted to TB serology for diagnosis and second-line anti-TB drug use in new TB patients. Efforts to achieve universal access to quality TB management must account for the low quality of care by PP and the lack of demonstrated effect of current training efforts. © 2014 Bharaswadkar et al.

Bemelmans M.,Médecins Sans Frontières | Van Den Akker T.,Médecins Sans Frontières | Ford N.,Médecins Sans Frontières | Ford N.,University of Cape Town | And 7 more authors.
Tropical Medicine and International Health | Year: 2010

Summary: Objective To describe how district-wide access to HIV/AIDS care was achieved and maintained in Thyolo District, Malawi.Method In mid-2003, the Ministry of Health and Médecins Sans Frontières developed a model of care for Thyolo district (population 587 455) based on decentralization of care to health centres and community sites and task shifting.Results After delegating HIV testing and counseling to lay counsellors, uptake of testing increased from 1300 tests per month in 2003 to 6500 in 2009. Shifting responsibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiations to non-physician clinicians almost doubled ART enrolment, with a majority of initiations performed in peripheral health centres. By the end 2009, 23 261 people had initiated ART of whom 11 042 received ART care at health-centre level. By the end of 2007, the universal access targets were achieved, with nearly 9000 patients alive and on ART. The average annual cost for achieving these targets was 2.6 per inhabitant/year.Conclusion The Thyolo programme has demonstrated the feasibility of district-wide access to ART in a setting with limited resources for health. Expansion and decentralization of HIV/AIDS service-capacity to the primary care level, combined with task shifting, resulted in increased access to HIV services with good programme outcomes despite staff shortages. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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