A community-wide tuberculosis study in a South Indian rural population, 1950-1955

Bull World Health Organ. 1960;22(1-2):61-170.


An investigation carried out under WHO auspices in a small area of South India in 1950-55, and which covered a population of approximately 60 000, has not only shed light on various aspects of tuberculosis epidemiology, but has also served as an exercise in the practical conduct of a control campaign in a less developed area.The programme was based essentially on systematic case-finding by mass miniature X-ray and tuberculin testing and the hospitalization of infectious cases. Its most dramatic effect on the community consisted in the great reduction of mortality-from 200 to 21 per 100 000 in less than four years-due no doubt to the advent of the newer antituberculosis drugs. This and other findings are discussed at length in the present report, which covers such topics as tuberculin sensitivity, infection rate, prevalence, incidence, and the results of a BCG control trial.One of the conclusions reached as a result of the campaign was that domiciliary drug therapy had much to recommend it in an area such as this, given the reluctance of patients to enter hospital and thus be deprived of their earning capacity.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population*
  • Tuberculin Test*
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*