• Addressing Diabetes Mellitus as Part of the Strategy for Ending TB

      Harries, A D; Kumar, A M; Satyanarayana, S; Lin, Y; Zachariah, R; Lönnroth, K; Kapur, A (Oxford University Press, 2016-03-01)
      As we enter the new era of Sustainable Development Goals, the international community has committed to ending the TB epidemic by 2030 through implementation of an ambitious strategy to reduce TB-incidence and TB-related mortality and avoiding catastrophic costs for TB-affected families. Diabetes mellitus (DM) triples the risk of TB and increases the probability of adverse TB treatment outcomes such as failure, death and recurrent TB. The rapidly escalating global epidemic of DM means that DM needs to be addressed if TB-related milestones and targets are to be achieved. WHO and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease's Collaborative Framework for Care and Control of Tuberculosis and Diabetes, launched in 2011, provides a template to guide policy makers and implementers to combat the epidemics of both diseases. However, more evidence is required to answer important questions about bi-directional screening, optimal ways of delivering treatment, integration of DM and TB services, and infection control. This should in turn contribute to better and earlier TB case detection, and improved TB treatment outcomes and prevention. DM and TB collaborative care can also help guide the development of a more effective and integrated public health approach for managing non-communicable diseases.
    • Changes in Escherichia coli resistance to co-trimoxazole in tuberculosis patients and in relation to co-trimoxazole prophylaxis in Thyolo, Malawi.

      Zachariah, R; Harries, A D; Spielmann M P; Arendt, V; Nchingula, D; Mwenda, R; Courteille, O; Kirpach, P; Mwale, B; Salaniponi, F M L; et al. (Elsevier, 2008-01-31)
      In Thyolo district, Malawi, an operational research study is being conducted on the efficacy and feasibility of co-trimoxazole prophylaxis in preventing deaths in HIV-positive patients with tuberculosis (TB). A series of cross-sectional studies were carried out in 1999 and 2001 to determine (i) whether faecal Escherichia coli resistance to co-trimoxazole in TB patients changed with time, and (ii) whether the resistance pattern was different in HIV-positive TB patients who were taking co-trimoxazole prophylaxis. Co-trimoxazole resistance among E. coli isolates in TB patients at the time of registration was 60% in 1999 and 77% in 2001 (P < 0.01). Resistance was 89% among HIV-infected TB patients (receiving cotrimoxazole), while in HIV-negative patients (receiving anti-TB therapy alone) it was 62% (P < 0.001). The study shows a significant increase of E. coli resistance to co-trimoxazole in TB patients which is particularly prominent in HIV-infected patients on co-trimoxazole prophylaxis. Since a high degree of plasmid-mediated transfer of resistance exists between E. coli and the Salmonella species, these findings could herald limitations on the short- and long-term benefits to be expected from the use of co-trimoxazole prophylaxis in preventing non-typhoid Salmonella bacteraemia and enteritis in HIV-infected TB patients in Malawi.
    • Field research in humanitarian medical programmes. Treatment of a cohort of tuberculosis patients using the Manyatta regimen in a conflict zone in South Sudan.

      Keus, K; Houston, S; Melaku, Y; Burling, S; Médecins Sans Frontières-Holland, Max Euweplein 40, PO Box 10014, 1001 EA Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Elsevier, 2008-01-31)
      This is a descriptive report of a pilot project of tuberculosis (TB) treatment in a conflict zone. A TB programme was implemented by Médecins Sans Frontières(MSF)-Holland in a semi-nomadic population in a very insecure and underdeveloped area of Upper Nile province in Southern Sudan. Outcome measures were operational feasibility, default rate, and sputum smear conversion at 4 months. A cohort of TB patients was admitted over a 10-week period (July-September 2001). Adherence strategy, project implementation, and and contingency planning were adapted to local conditions. The treatment regimen (4 HRZE [4-month daily supervised regimen] followed by 3EH or 3TH [3-month unsupervised regimen]: isoniazid (H), rifampicin (R), pyrazinamide (Z), ethambutol (E) and thiacetazone (T)) was a variant on the Manyatta regimen developed for semi-nomads in Kenya. Of 163 patients, 84 (52%) were children aged < 15 years. Lymph node TB comprised 34% and spinal TB 15% of all patients. Among adults, 41% had smear-positive pulmonary disease. Only 1 patient (0.6%) defaulted. All sputum smear-positive patients who completed 4 months of therapy converted to smear-negative, although 2 were subsequently found to have relapsed. TB in complex emergency situations is an underrecognized priority. Using an approach adapted especially to this setting, TB treatment was successfully implemented with minimal risk of promoting drug resistance, in an unstable setting.
    • High initial default in patients with smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis at a regional hospital in Accra, Ghana

      Afutu, F K; Zachariah, R; Hinderaker, S G; Ntoah-Boadi, H; Obeng, E A; Bonsu, F A; Harries, A D (2012-08)
    • Lost to follow up from tuberculosis treatment in an urban informal settlement (Kibera), Nairobi, Kenya: what are the rates and determinants?

      Kizito, K W; Dunkley, S; Kingori, M; Reid, T; Médecins Sans Frontières - Operational Centre Belgium, Kenya Mission, Kileleshwa, Nairobi, Kenya. kwalta@gmail.com (2011-01)
      Patients lost to follow up (LTFU) from treatment are a major concern for tuberculosis (TB) programmes. It is even more challenging in programmes in urban informal settlements (slums) with large, highly mobile, impoverished populations. Kibera, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya is such a community with an estimated population of 500,000 to 700,000. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), in collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MPHS), operate three clinics providing integrated TB, HIV and primary health care. We undertook a retrospective study between July 2006 and December 2008 to determine the rate of LTFU from the TB programme in Kibera and to assess associated clinical and socio-demographic factors. Thanks to an innovative 'Defaulter Tracing Programme', patients who missed their appointments were routinely traced and encouraged to return for treatment. Where possible, reasons for missed appointments were recorded. LTFU occurred in 146 (13%) of the 1094 patients registered, with male gender, no salaried employment, lack of family support and positive TB smear at diagnosis found to be significant associations (P value ≤ 0.05). The most commonly cited reasons for LTFU were relocation from Kibera to 'up-country' rural homes and work commitments.
    • Moderate to severe malnutrition in patients with tuberculosis is a risk factor associated with early death.

      Zachariah, R; Spielmann M P; Harries, A D; Salaniponi, F M L; Médecins Sans Frontières-Luxembourg, Thyolo District, Malawi. zachariah@internet.lu (Elsevier, 2008-02-07)
      A study was conducted in new patients registered with tuberculosis (TB) in a rural district of Malawi to determine (i) the prevalence of malnutrition on admission and (ii) the association between malnutrition and early mortality (defined as death within the first 4 weeks of treatment). There were 1181 patients with TB (576 men and 605 women), whose overall rate of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was 80%. 673 TB patients (57%) were malnourished on admission (body mass index [BMI] < 18.5 kg/m2). There were 259 patients (22%) with mild malnutrition (BMI 17.0-18.4 kg/m2), 168 (14%) with moderate malnutrition (BMI 16.0-16.9 kg/m2) and 246 (21%) with severe malnutrition (BMI < 15.9 kg/m2). 95 patients (8%) died during the first 4 weeks. Significant risk factors for early mortality included increasing degrees of malnutrition, age > 35 years, and HIV seropositivity. Among all the 1181 patients, 10.9% of the 414 patients with moderate to severe malnutrition died in the first 4 weeks compared with 6.5% of the 767 patients with normal to mild malnutrition (odds ratio 1.8, 95% confidence interval 1.1-2.7). In patients with TB, BMI < 17.0 kg/m2 is associated with an increased risk of early death.
    • TB treatment in a chronic complex emergency: treatment outcomes and experiences in Somalia

      Liddle, K F; Elema, R; Thi, S S; Greig, J; Venis, S; Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Oxford University Press, 2013-09-29)
      Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides TB treatment in Galkayo and Marere in Somalia. MSF international supervisory staff withdrew in 2008 owing to insecurity but maintained daily communication with Somali staff. In this paper, we aimed to assess the feasibility of treating TB in a complex emergency setting and describe the programme adaptations implemented to facilitate acceptable treatment outcomes.
    • Treatment outcome of patients with smear-negative and smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis in the National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Malawi.

      Harries, A D; Nyirenda, T E; Banerjee, A; Boeree, M J; Salaniponi, F M L; National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Community Health Science Unit, Lilongwe, Malawi. epicentre@imul.com (Elsevier and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 1999)
      National tuberculosis control programmes (NTPs) in sub-Saharan Africa do not routinely record or report treatment outcome data on smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients. Twelve-month treatment outcome on patients with smear-negative PTB registered in all district and mission hospitals in Malawi during the year 1995 was collected, and was compared with 8-month treatment outcome in smear-positive PTB patients registered during the same period. Of 4240 patients with smear-negative PTB, 35% completed treatment, 25% died, 9% defaulted and 7% were transferred to another district with no treatment outcome results available. In 24% of patients treatment cards were lost and treatment outcome was unknown. These results were significantly inferior to those obtained in 4003 patients with smear-positive PTB in whom 72% completed treatment, 20% died, 4% defaulted, 2% were transferred and 1% had positive smears at the end of treatment. These differences between patients with smear-negative and smear-positive PTB were similar when analysed by sex and by most age-groups. Higher mortality rates in patients with smear-negative PTB are probably attributable to advanced HIV-related immunosuppression, and higher default and treatment unknown rates probably reflect the lack of attention paid by TB programme staff to this group of patients. As a result of this country-wide study the Malawi NTP has started to record routinely the treatment outcomes of smear-negative TB patients and has set treatment completion targets of 50% or higher for this group of patients.