Infection control in households of drug-resistant tuberculosis patients co-infected with HIV in Mumbai, India

Mumbai, India has a population of 21 million, and an increasingly recognised epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB).

To describe TB infection control (IC) measures implemented in households of DR-TB patients co-infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) under a Médecins Sans Frontières programme.

IC assessments were carried out in patient households between May 2012 and March 2013. A simplified, standardised assessment tool was utilised to assess the risk of TB transmission and guide interventions. Administrative, environmental and personal protective measures were tailored to patient needs.

IC assessments were carried out in 29 houses. Measures included health education, segregating sleeping areas of patients, improving natural ventilation by opening windows, removing curtains and obstacles to air flow, installing fans and air extractors and providing surgical masks to patients for limited periods. Environmental interventions were carried out in 22 houses.

TB IC could be a beneficial component of a comprehensive TB and HIV care programme in households and communities. Although particularly challenging in slum settings, IC measures that are feasible, affordable and acceptable can be implemented in such settings using simplified and standardised tools. Appropriate IC interventions at household level may prevent new cases of DR-TB, especially in households of patients with a lower chance of cure.

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AuthorsT. Albuquerque, P. Isaakidis, M. Das, P. Saranchuk, A. Andries, D. P. Misquita, S. Khan, S. Dubois, C. Peskett, M. Browne 

Journal: Public Health Action

Keyword(s): MDR-TB; HIV/AIDS; India