OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the implementation of a FIDELIS (Fund for Innovative DOTS Expansion through Local Initiatives to Stop TB) project in Anhui Province, China.
DESIGN: A survey card was designed for students to identify individuals who might have tuberculosis (TB) in their family. Teachers provided health education on TB before distributing the survey cards. Survey cards identifying individuals with respiratory symptoms for ≥3 weeks were sent by the teachers to village doctors who were trained to visit symptomatic individuals and advise them to undergo sputum examination. Data were routinely collected in the implementation of the FIDELIS project, and quarterly reports from the National Tuberculosis Programme were analysed. The detection of new smear-positive TB cases before and after FIDELIS, as well as with and without FIDELIS, were compared.
RESULTS: In the first year, a total of 2 387 405 students were involved and 23 079 symptomatic individuals were examined, among whom 2307 (10.3%) were diagnosed with smear-positive TB. Case detection in FIDELIS counties increased by a factor of 3.5 during the FIDELIS period compared with before FIDELIS, and that in non-FIDELIS counties by a factor of 3.1 (P = 0.001).
CONCLUSION: It was feasible to massively mobilise students for TB case finding through collaboration between the health care and education systems.
- Journal Article