Translational Biomedicine

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A descriptive study on contact tracing of Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Sri Lanka

Gamalthge NP

Introduction: Tuberculosis is worldwide public health problem. Though it was 50 years since the discovery of effective treatment for TB, it has not been controlled. It continued to spread resistance among poor as well as affluent even in Sri Lanka. Treatment seeking behavior, management procedures and active contact tracing of PTB patients have the influence in controlling the disease. Objectives • To determine effectiveness of contact tracing activities of PTB patient at Gampaha District. • To determine supportive behavior of PTB index patients to trace contact. Methodology: This study was cross sectional descriptive study which was carried out by using interviewer administrated questionnaire to identify effectiveness of contact tracing, supportive behavior of PTB patient, and screening activity of contacts. Limitations: Sum of the questionnaires is depended on PTB index patient’s recall memory. Interviewers were health care professionals therefore it is more likely that they tend to report standard answers other than actual answers. There was no allocation of money for staff and physical resources to conduct the study. Results: Socio demographic data of PTB index patients were found to have a mean age of 47.66 in males and 45.37 in females and range was given 11 years-70 years. 77 index people were married and 80% were educated below the ordinary level and 70% were employed and 63% PTB positive. According to this data majority of PTB index patients are economically productive age group sputum positive, low educated and employed. About 98% of PTB index patients were educated regarding contact tracing by health care workers. But health care workers have directly informed to the family members only. They have not informed index patients, coworkers and room-mates. Only 40% family contacts were investigated for PTB, but none of them were positive. Below 5 years TB prophylactic treatments were started for 41% only. Conclusion: Most of the PTB patients were in poor social economic group and their religion and ethnicity were reflecting the district population. All of the PTB patients have concerned only about their family members, none of them have informed co-workers and roommates. Health care workers were not done any effort to trace active contact tracing at work places. PTB prophylactic for below 5 years contact percentage was not satisfactory. Recommendations: There should be a motivation programme to trace family contacts and co-workers contacts for health care workers. There should be a policy to trace contacts periodically. There should be a collaboration programme with ministry of labor and ministry of health to trace work place contacts.