How does the HALI team collect information and samples for TB/BTB in the field?
The HALI project is working together with local hospitals, health clinics, local government officials, and pastoralists to determine the transmission ecology and epidemiology of Mycobacterium bovis in the four divisions namely Pawaga, Idodi, Kalenga and Ismani within Iringa rural district .In this area the project is working with seven (7) health facilities.
How do these health facilities work with the HALI project?
In each facility the project trained at least one clinician, nurse, laboratory technician and two village health workers (VHWs) about the project protocols, patient eligibility criteria, Good Clinical Practice (GCP) issues and consent / assent forms. The trained staff helps us to enroll TB patients at the rural clinics. Once an eligible patient is enrolled at the health facility, the VHW and people from the HALI project team up to trace him/her to the household level. There we screen the rest of the family members using questionnaires targeting the four symptoms of TB: night sweats, frequent coughing, progressive loss of weight, and swollen lymph nodes around the
neck region or inguinal area. If researchers find a contact has TB symptoms (active patient), they advise him/her to go to the nearby health facility to seek medical attention. Using the case household, we randomly select a nearby control household at the time of the visit
What else does the HALI field team do at the household?
Livestock testing via the TB skin test, household environmental sampling at the sleeping quarters, toilet facilities, food containers and leftovers, interviewing the family members, and identifying other risk factors.
Why all of these samples?
HALI project is looking at the role of each player in the epidemiology and transmission dynamics of M. bovis and M. tuberculosis between humans, their animals, and shared environments in a well-defined rural population of Tanzania. The project is also interested in understanding the microbiology of pathogen survival in soil, feces and water and the role of this reservoir in infectious disease transmission.