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A community-based isoniazid preventive therapy for the prevention of childhood tuberculosis in Ethiopia.

ABSTRACT

Although children in contact with adults with tuberculosis (TB) should receive isoniazid (INH) preventive therapy (IPT), this is rarely implemented.To assess whether a community-based approach to provide IPT at the household level improves uptake and adherence in Ethiopia.Contacts of adults with smear-positive pulmonary TB (PTB+) were visited at home and examined by health extension workers (HEWs). Asymptomatic children aged <5 years were offered IPT and followed monthly.Of 6161 PTB+ cases identified by HEWs in the community, 5345 (87%) were visited, identifying 24 267 contacts, 7226 (29.8%) of whom were children aged <15 years and 3102 (12.7%) were aged <5 years; 2949 contacts had symptoms of TB and 1336 submitted sputum for examination. Ninety-two (6.9%) were PTB+ and 169 had TB all forms. Of 3027 asymptomatic children, only 1761 were offered (and accepted) IPT due to INH shortage. Of these, 1615 (91.7%) completed the 6-month course. The most frequent reason for discontinuing IPT was INH shortage.Contact tracing contributed to the detection of additional TB cases and provision of IPT in young children. IPT delivery in the community alongside community-based TB interventions resulted in better acceptance and improved treatment outcome.