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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 259-263

“Is there a difference in treatment outcome of tuberculosis patients: Rural Healthcare Providers versus Community Health Workers?”

1 Tuberculosis and Communicable Disease Department, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, South-East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Foundation for Innovate New Diagnosis (FIND), New Delhi, India
3 Tuberculosis and Communicable Disease Department, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, South-East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, India; Centre for Operational Research, The Union, Paris, France
4 Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI), Hyderabad, Telangana, India
5 State Tuberculosis Officer, RNTCP, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Banuru M Prasad
The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), C-6 Qutub Institutional Area, New Delhi - 110 016
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_729_19

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Introduction: Rural healthcare providers (RHCPs) are the first point of contact for majority of patients in rural parts of India. A total of 75 RHCPs were trained and engaged in Hazaribagh to identify presumptive tuberculosis (TB) patients (PrTBPs) and refer them for diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with TB were initiated on directly observed treatment short course (DOTS) under the programme. Based on patients' choice, the treatment providers were either RHCPs or community health workers (CHWs). In this paper, we aim to compare the treatment outcomes of TB patients who received DOTS from RHCPs with CHWs. Method: This is a retrospective cohort study using secondary data routinely collected through project and Revised National TB Control Programme. Results: Over the period of 24 months, 57 RHCPs continued to be engaged with project and a total of 382 referrals were made out of which 72 (19%) were diagnosed with TB. Based on choice made, 40 (55%) of TB patients chose RHCPs and 32 (45%) CHWs as their treatment provider. The mean successful treatment completion rate was 87% in the RHCP group compared with 81% for CHWs (P value 0.464). The percentages of unsuccessful outcomes were similar for both groups. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates the process to engage RHCPs in TB prevention and care. The study highlights community preference for RHCPs as DOT provider who can produce similar TB treatment success rates as that of CHWs identified by programme.

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