TB REACH Project in southern Ethiopia:

Tuberculosis is a leading cause of illness and death in Ethiopia. Whilst TB is a government priority, the national programme is reliant on identifying patients when they visit the health centre. TB diagnostic centres are located in urban and semi-urban areas and patients often need to make several visits before initiating treatment. People who are infirm, old, young, or disabled find it particularly difficult to access diagnosis and treatment services. In October 2010 LSTM and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional Health Bureau of Ethiopia initiated a project in Sidama zone with support from the TB REACH Programme of the Stop TB Partnership funded by CIDA.

Through our project we introduced a package of interventions including advocacy, communication and social mobilization with stakeholders; training HEWs, TB clinic staff and TB coordinators. As part of the project HEWs conducted house-to-house visits and identified people who they thought had TB, collected sputum samples, and prepared and fixed smears. Supervisors collected and transported smeared slides to laboratories for smear-microscopy. People who tested positive were given treatment and were supported by Health Extension Workers.

The TB REACH project was further expanded to five zones to cover a population of 7.5 million, demonstrating its up-scalability and acceptance by the population. The project received three awards of the National TB Conference in ethiopia (6th  - TRAC:http://lstmliverpool.ac.uk/about-lstm/news-and-media/latest-news/2013/jan-june/gold-medal-for-ethiopia , 8th - TRAC: http://lstmliverpool.ac.uk/about-lstm/news-and-media/latest-news/2013/jan-june/gold-medal-for-ethiopia and 9th National TB Conference) and one international award – the prestigious Kochon prize 2014 - http://www.stoptb.org/global/awards/kochon/awardees/2014.asp,


http://www.tbonline.info/posts/2014/10/29/reach-ethiopia-sets-bar-high-winner-years-stop-tb-/.  The project has shared experiences in different national and international forums. The National TB Control Programme decided to up-scale the approach to other Regions in the country.  In 2015-17 the programme will initiate activities in four major regions and selected zones and districts to implement the package with financial support from the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Read more: http://portfolio.theglobalfund.org/en/Country/Index/ETH, concept note (2014 - HIV/TB)

Read more publications: Yassin M, Datiko D, Tulloch O, Markos P, Aschelew M, Shargie E,  Dangisso, M.  Komatsu, R.  Sahu, S.  Blok, L.  Cuevas, L. Theobald, S. (2013)   Innovative community-based approaches doubled tuberculosis case notification and improve treatment outcome in Southern Ethiopia. PLoS ONE. Vol 8, Issue 5, e63174.


 Tulloch, O. Theobald, S. Morishita, F. Datiko, D. Asnake, G.  Tesema, T. Jamal, H. Marcos, P. Cuevas, L.  and Yassin, M. (2015) Patient and community experiences of tuberculosis diagnosis and care within a community-based intervention in Ethiopia: A qualitative study BMC Public Health (2015) 15:187

Additional information