Setting: Tuberculosis (TB) affected households in impoverished shantytowns, Lima, Peru.
Objective: To evaluate socio-economic interventions for strengthening TB control by improving uptake of TB care and prevention services.
Design: Barriers to TB control were characterised by interviews with TB-affected families. To reduce these barriers, a multidisciplinary team offered integrated community and household socio-economic interventions aiming to: 1) enhance uptake of TB care by education, community mobilisation and psychosocial support; and 2) reduce poverty through food and cash transfers, microcredit, microenterprise and vocational training. An interim analysis was performed after the socio-economic interventions had been provided for 2078 people in 311 households of newly diagnosed TB patients for up to 34 months.
Results: Poverty (46% earned <US$1 per day), depression (40%), stigmatisation (77%), and perceived isolation (39%) were common among TB patients (all P < 0.05 vs. non-patients). The project had 100% recruitment, and involved 97% of TB-affected households in regular visits, 71% in community groups, 78% in psychosocial support and 77% in poverty-reduction interventions. The socio-economic interventions were associated with increases in household contact TB screening (from 82% to 96%); successful TB treatment completion (from 91% to 97%); patient human immunodeficiency virus testing (from 31% to 97%); and completion of preventive therapy (from 27% to 87%; all P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Socio-economic interventions can strengthen TB control activities.
Keywords: tuberculosis; control; microcredit; poverty;social determinants.