Quality TB screening is key for active TB case finding in Nigeria. With the impact of COVID-19 changing how outpatient care is delivered in health care practices, targeted Out-Patient (OPD) screening for TB is a key strategy employed to address the increasing gap in TB case finding in Abia State Nigeria in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Global Fund Public-Private Mix TB program supports the engagement of ad hoc staff called screening officers for targeted OPD screening in 5 selected High TB burden facilities in Abia state for 24 months (January 2020 to December 2021). A screening officer (S.O) was positioned at every OPD entry point in the selected health facility. Data generated from the TB cascade were documented for all patients identified from the targeted OPD screening in these facilities. We looked at the number of TB cases generated from the targeted OPD screening and the number of TB cases generated from other referral health entities linked to the facilities such as the Community Pharmacists (CP), and Patent Medicine Vendors (PMV). We observed the proportion of TB Cases generated from the targeted OPD screening, and CPs or PMV referrals to see if a huge disparity exists.
The result of this intervention is reported at the country level. The proportion of TB cases identified from the targeted OPD Screening showed a 74% contribution to the total facility TB cases identified within the period, with a difference of 26% contribution coming from the other referral entities such as the CPs and the PMVs
A significant contribution from the targeted OPD screening was observed during the period of intervention despite the COVID-19 interruptions. It will be worth exploring the determinate of these increases to ensure scale-up that the National TB program could leverage to increase Active Case finding for TB in Nigeria and combat the TB epidemic.