Engagement of Lady Health Workers Leading to Early Diagnosis
Tuberculosis is still considered a major cause of morbidity and mortality especially in developing countries. Pakistan is facing a huge burden of disease and currently around 518,000 new cases of TB occur each year in the country with an overall mortality of 23 deaths per 100,000 population. Pakistan’s National TB control program along with its partners is striving to arrest the transmission of disease within the communities through early diagnosis and immediate start of treatment. Delay in diagnosis not only complicates the disease at individual level but also results in significant transmission of disease within the community. A study conducted by Madebo et al. found that as the delay in diagnosis progresses, the patients become more contagious and have more grave health outcomes. Since, TB symptoms, particularly cough with sputum are so prevalent in most of the communities; delay in diagnosis is quite common. The present study is an attempt to assess the delay in diagnosis of TB patients diagnosed through the Public Private Mix (PPM) project and the TEAM to end TB project, both being implemented by Mercy Corps in different districts of Pakistan.