In line with the Uganda National policy on TB/HIV collaborative services launched in March 2006, we pioneered integrated TB screening and treatment within the program’s Routine HIV testing and care programmes in Mulago and Mbarara teaching hospitals.
MJAP in collaboration with the Mulago hospital (TB ward) established a specialized TB/HIV clinic where patients with T B and HIV co-infections receive TB/HIV co-treatment and care.
In 2007, with funding from PEPFAR/CDC, TB/HIV integrated services were expanded to the regional referral hospitals in collaboration with the AIDS control programme and the National TB programme of the Ministry of Health.
The core activities of the TB/HIV integrated model include;
- Diagnosis of TB and HIV among in- and out-patients through concurrent HIV testing and TB screening,
- Enhanced TB screening for HIV patients in care
- Routine HIV testing for TB patients and
- Integrated care and treatment for patients with TBHIV co-infections,
- TB infection control
TB/HIV integrated services are presently offered in all the seven MJAP supported regional referral hospitals. All staff in these hospitals were trained in TB/HIV co-management and TB Infection control, supplies and equipment for TB/HIV diagnosis and treatment monitoring were provided and specialized TB/HIV clinics established in four of the seven regional referral hospitals. MJAP also provided equipment for TB infection control such as bio-safety hoods to protect staff with high risk exposure to TB.
One of the key challenges seen in the implementation of the TB/HIV integrated model is the low detection of TB among HIV patients. MJAP is collaborating with a number of partners to introduce new methods and techniques, such as fluorescent microscopy and liquid culture services to enhance TB diagnosis among HIV patients.