Tuberculosis kills 5,000 people every day and over 1,000 people fall sick with TB each day. The great majority of these are the poorest members of our society, with limited access to healthcare and no resources to cope with illness. We know that for any infectious disease the best way to control epidemics is either through vaccines or finding and treating every case to prevent transmission. The only TB vaccine, BCG, is not very effective and this has allowed TB to continue to kill millions of people every year.
IMPACT TB is a project to find and treat cases of TB in communities in both Nepal and Vietnam.
In Vietnam, we are expanding a successful case finding project to six districts of Ho Chi Minh City. This is the largest city in Vietnam, a densely populated dynamic and rapidly developing city with a high proportion of economic migrants. In Nepal, we are implementing our case finding activities in four districts with a high burden of undiagnosed TB cases to reach those who do not have good access to healthcare. In both countries, we will test different implementation models to find the cheapest way to scale-up active case finding of TB nationwide. We are working closely with the National TB Programme of each country to ensure our work complements other research being carried out and informs future policy. We will evaluate the health economics of each strategy from both a patient and a health system perspective, while also using mathematical modelling to understand both the short and long term effects on the epidemic of each strategy.