Reach Ethiopia

Increasing the detection, confirmation, and treatment of children with Tuberculosis in Ethiopia – technology meets social justice

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Project Lead(s): Daniel Datiko


Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem worldwide, with the highest burden in low-income populations. While TB in children is common, its diagnosis is difficult in low-resource settings.


A community-based project was initiated to increase the number of children diagnosed with TB through a combination of community-based active case-finding, pooling of multiple samples and testing with a single test (Gene Xpert) to increase the yield and diagnostic access for TB in a high-burden setting.
Symptomatic children were examined and referred to the nearest health centre for X-rays, and – following international World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines – were offered Gene Xpert MTB-RIF testing, if available.

Because testing only one specimen with Xpert in children results in identifying only a small proportion (typically 20%) of patients with a positive result, pooling at least two samples (to be tested together with one Xpert cartridge) was evaluated to see if it would increase the yield of children confirmed to have TB, compared to using smear microscopy.

Households with known index cases were identified in the districts of the Sidama zone in Southern Ethiopia. They identified 350 children from the community and collected 235 sputum samples, 109 gastric aspirates and 7 samples for fine needle aspirate (FNA).
Children with enlarged lymph nodes had FNA at the University of Hawassa

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About Us

REACH Ethiopia grew out of a TB project that started in 2010. This project introduced an innovative community package that engaged health extension workers (HEWs) to increase TB case detection and treatment adherence.

Address: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia