Basil Uguge, Bethrand Odume, Emmanuel Nkombe, Maxwell Onuoha, Hillary Bisong, Bassey Offor, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation.
Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PMVs) play a critical role in bridging the gaps in healthcare delivery especially among rural communities. Five “hub” and “spokes” clusters comprising fifty PMVs and five private health facilities were engaged to provide TB services supported by linkage coordinators (LC) assigned to five clusters. The study assesses the effectiveness of PMV-ledcommunity mobilization using town announcers in finding missing TB cases.
The PMVs and LC conducted advocacy to community leaders and used community ‘town announcers’ at no additional cost to mobilize persons with a cough to the PMV shops for free symptomatic TB screening. The TB identified were linked to TB diagnostic labs for sputum testing. The detailed information of the presumptive TB patients and their lab results were documented in the national TB recording and reporting tools. Lab results feedback was provided to the PMVs. Persons who had TB were contacted and linked to TB treatment at the hub facility. We documented the TB identified, TB cases diagnosed and participating PMVs & communities monthly from the commencement of intervention in September to December 2019 and compared with previous months.
In July and August 2019 the TB cases notified in the five clusters were 8 and 10 respectively. However, following the introduction of the intervention in September, TB case finding increased to 26 and further increased to 49, 45 and 55 cases in October, November and December respectively. The overall linkage to TB treatment was above 95%.
PMVs knowledge of their community is a resource that can be harnessed to promote increased TB screening within community Using PMVs within communities in engaging the key community leaders and mobilizing the people through the traditional town announcers is both cost-effective and innovative in finding missing TB cases.