Background: Globally, TB notifications have stagnated since 2007, and sputum smear positive notifications have been declining despite policies to improve case detection. We evaluate results of 28 interventions focused on improving TB case detection.
Methods: We measured additional sputum smear positive cases treated, defined as the intervention area's increase in case notification during the project compared to the previous year. Projects were encouraged to select control areas and collect historical notification data. We used time series negative binomial regression for over-dispersed cross-sectional data accounting for fixed and random effects to test the individual projects' effects on TB notification while controlling for trend and control populations.
Results: Twenty-eight projects, 19 with control populations, completed at least four quarters of case finding activities, covering a population of 89.2 million. Among all projects sputum smear positive (SS+) TB notifications increased 24.9% and annualized notification rates increased from 69.1 to 86.2/100,000 (p = 0.0209) during interventions. Among the 19 projects with control populations, SS+TB case notifications increased 36.9% increase while in the control populations a 3.6% decrease was observed. Fourteen (74%) of the 19 projects' SS+TB notification rates in intervention areas increased from the baseline to intervention period when controlling for historical trends and notifications in control areas.
Conclusions: Interventions were associated with large increases in TB notifications across many settings, using an array of interventions. Many people with TB are not reached using current approaches. Different methods and interventions tailored to local realities are urgently needed.