Project: An Innovative Collaboration Model Between the National TB Control Program and Informal Healthcare Providers to Detect Additional Cases of TB In Cameroon

Acronym ECIP (Reference Number: TMA2016CDF-1570)
Duration 01/08/2018 - 31/07/2021
Project Topic With about 35 000 TB cases expected annually, Cameroon is a country with a relatively high incidence and prevalence of tuberculosis. The strategies adopted in Cameroon by the National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTCP) address all facets in the fight against tuberculosis as recommended by the WHO. The NTCP’s main objective of case finding is to identify patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) who are responsible for the transmission of the infection. A survey conducted by the NTCP revealed that numerous Informal Health Providers (IHPs) were operating in major cities in Cameroon. The IHPs are not yet integrated into the NTCP network, but they are suspected to provide health care to a significant number of TB suspects. The NTCP estimates that the main bottlenecks in finding TB cases are related to patients frequenting these IHPs that give substandard care. It is important to link all health facilities providing TB care with the NTCP. In 2015, Dr. Sylvie Kwedi Nolna, in collaboration with the NCTP, conducted a study intended to assess the feasibility of integrating IHPs into the NTCP in order to improve TB case detection in Yaoundé (interventon city) as compared to Douala (control city). This feasibility study showed that the IHPs were willing to collaborate with the NCTPs by being training, using NCTP tools and referring suspected TB cases to the NTCP for confirmation. For the proposed career development fellowship project, we propose to evaluate the effect of integrating IHPs into the NTCP in order to improve TB case detection in three main cities in Cameroon: Douala, Buéa and Bafoussam by providing IHPs with proper training for handling TB suspects and intensively montoring their ability to refer TB suspects to the NCTP. A prospective quasi-experimental (pre/post) study is thus proposed to test an intervention that utilizes a training tool that is intended to improve the IHPs ability to handle TB suspects and further refer them to the NCTP for case detection. This project is innovative as it taps into a non-traditional TB case finding strategy in the community. The results from this study will provide “actionable” evidence that will guide policy to transform the contribution of IHPs from a liability into an asset. Based on the expected results, a formal path of integrating the IHPs into the official TB control services can be implemented.
Network EDCTP2
Call Career Development Fellowships

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Yaoundé I Coordinator Cameroon