Access to quality diagnosis and rational treatment for tuberculosis: real-world evidence from China-Gates Tuberculosis Control Project Phase III.
BACKGROUND: China has successfully reduced tuberculosis (TB) incidence rate over the past three decades, however, challenges remain in improving the quality of TB diagnosis and treatment. In this paper, we assess the effects of the implementation of "China National Health Commission (NHC) and Gates Foundation TB Prevention and Control Project" on the quality of TB care in the three provinces. METHODS: We conducted the baseline study in 2016 and the final evaluations in 2019 in the 12 selected project counties. We obtained TB patients' information from the TB Information Management System and reviewed medical records of TB cases in the TB designated hospitals. We compared TB diagnosis and treatment services with the national practice guideline and used Student's t-test and Pearson χ2 tests or Fisher's exact tests to compare the difference before and after the project implementation. RESULTS: The percentage of sputum smear-negative (SS-) patients taking culture or rapid molecular test (RMT) doubled between 2015 and 2018 (from 35% to 87%), and the percentage of bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary TB cases increased from 36% to 52%. RMT has been widely used and contributed an additional 20% of bacteriologically confirmed TB cases in 2018. The percentage of TB patients taking drug susceptibility tests (DST) also doubled (from 40% in 2015 to 82% in 2018), and the proportion of TB patients receiving adequate diagnosis services increased from 85% to 96%. Among all SS- TB patients, over 86% received the recommended diagnostic services at the end of the study period, an improvement from 75% prior to the project implementation. However, the proportion of TB patients treated irrationally using second-line anti-TB drugs (SLDs) increased from 12.6% in 2015 to 19.9% in 2018. The regional disparities remained within the project provinces, albeit the gaps between them narrowed down for almost all indicators. CONCLUSIONS: The quality of TB diagnosis services has been improved substantially, which is attributable to the coverage of new diagnosis technology. However, irrational use of SLDs remains a concern after the project implementation.
Li, Z-P; Mao, W-H; Huang, F; Wang, N; Ma, L-P; Zhang, L-Q; Gao, M-Q; Wang, W-B; Zhao, Q; Tang, S-L
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