Population Based Research on TB.
When established: 2010
The Millenium Development Goals to halt incidence and to halve TB prevalence and mortality by 2015 will not be reached for Africa, and the new goal set by WHO's STOP TB partnership is to eliminate TB by 2050, defined as less than one case per 1 million. While this is still not considered a realistic goal, within HDSS settings it is possible to work on this agenda on a population level, and demonstrate advances both in assessing the true magnitude of the TB burden and in the implementation of effective low-cost interventions.
The Population-based Research on Tuberculosis (PoRT) Working Group is designing and testing a low cost TB clinical score/diagnostic tool, as well as identifying ways to target diagnosis and treatment at those most likely to have the disease. The projects completed so far, have identified TB risk factors assessed the epidemiology of TB suspects and conducted testing of the low cost diagnostic tool.
Leveraging longitudinal data of INDEPTH members improves estimates of actual disease burden, enables the documentation of the overall impact on TB on outcomes including overall child mortality, as was previously done in Bissau, (Gomes, Thorax 2011) and provides a low-cost way to test and monitor different interventions.
The true impact of control measures and interventions can be assessed in populations followed prospectively and important capacity can be built for vaccine or other intervention trials.