Reaching the underserved: Active tuberculosis case finding in urban slums in southeastern Nigeria

Int J Mycobacteriol. 2015 Mar;4(1):18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmyco.2014.12.007. Epub 2015 Feb 2.


Background: Nigeria ranks 10th among 22 high TB burden countries with low TB case detection that relies on passive case finding. Although there is increasing body of evidence that active case finding (ACF) has improved TB case finding in urban slums in some parts of the world, this strategy had not been implemented in Nigeria despite the pervasiveness of urban slums in the country.

Objective: To assess the yield and profile of TB in urban slums in Nigeria through ACF.

Methods: A prospective, implementation study was conducted in three urban slums of southeastern Nigeria. Individuals with TB symptoms were identified through targeted screening using a standardized questionnaire and investigated further for TB. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were performed using SPSS.

Results: Among 16,743 individuals screened for TB, 6361 (38.0%) were identified as TB suspects; 5894 suspects were evaluated for TB. TB was diagnosed in 1079 individuals, representing 6.4% of the screened population and 18.3% of those evaluated for TB. Of the 1079 cases found, 97.1% (n=1084) had pulmonary TB (PTB), and majority (65%) had new smear-positive TB. Children (<15years) accounted for 6.7% of the cases. Also, 22.6% (216) of the cases were HIV co-infected, among whom 55.1% (n=119) were females. The average number of individuals needed to screen to find a case of TB was 16.

Conclusions: There is high prevalence of TB in Nigeria slum population. Targeted screening of out-patients, TB contacts, and HIV-infected patients should be optimized for active TB case finding in Nigeria.

Keywords: Active case finding; Epidemiology; Screening; Tuberculosis; Urban slums.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coinfection / diagnosis
  • Coinfection / epidemiology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Poverty Areas
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis / virology