Subject: Tuberculosis control effective in conflict-affected East Timor

Tuberculosis control effective in conflict-affected East Timor

10/26/2006 04:23:33 PM EDT NewsRxTB

2006 OCT 31 - ( -- Tuberculosis control is effective in conflict-affected East Timor.

"East Timor has undergone major political changes in the past 10 years. Tuberculosis (TB) control has flourished, despite chronic low-tension conflict, a brief but intense period of high-level conflict and postconflict reconstruction.

"To assess TB control in East Timor from 1996 to 2004," a study was conducted, scientists writing in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease report.

According to N. Martins and colleagues at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, "Data were collected from a variety of sources. Key TB program indicators were analyzed with reference to WHO targets to assess the performance of the three TB control programs that operated during the study period."

"Before 1999,a nongovernmental TB control program was established in several districts in parallel with the government TB program, and showed optimistic results. External donor funds, technical assistance and local control strategies were key components.

"In 1999, conflict led to complete disruption of both programs. In 2000, a National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP) was established from the nongovernmental program in collaboration with other partners," researchers said.

Martins continued, "The smear-positive TB case notification rate of 108 per 100,000 population is the highest in the region and reflects high population coverage. The cure rate of 81% is close to reaching the WHO target."

"High-quality TB control has been introduced in conflict-affected East Timor. Further research is needed to examine Timorese approaches to inform other, similar settings," investigators concluded.

Martins and colleagues published their study in International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (Tuberculosis control in conflict-affected East Timor, 1996-2004. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis, 2006;10(9):975-981).

Additional information can be obtained by contacting P.M. Kelly, Australian National University, College Med & Health Science, National Center Epidemiology & Population Health, Mills Rd., Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.

The publisher of the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease can be contacted at: International Union Against Tuberculosis Lung Disease (I U a T L D), 68 Boulevard Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris, France.

Keywords: Darwin, Australia, East Timor, Epidemiology, Tuberculosis Control, Notification Rate, Cure Rate.

This article was prepared by TB & Outbreaks Week editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2006, TB & Outbreaks Week via 

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