Private Sector Engagement in Tuberculosis Control Advances Case Detection

Pharmacies take part in TB referral services with support from USAID.
Pharmacies take part in TB referral services with support from the USAID Public-Private Mix (PPM) for Tuberculosis and HIV Control project.
Photo: USAID

For Immediate Release

Friday, November 1, 2013

HO CHI MINH CITY, November 1, 2013 - The engagement of private providers in Vietnam’s tuberculosis case finding strategy through the support from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Public-Private Mix (PPM) for Tuberculosis and HIV Control project has led to the referral of over 30,000 tuberculosis suspects to diagnosis and treatment facilities with more than 3,500 tuberculosis (TB) cases confirmed.

These figures were announced today during a project review workshop to celebrate the achievements of the PPM approach in the fight against tuberculosis and discuss lessons learned in case detection and treatment after five years of project implementation in Hai Phong, Nghe An, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho.

“Creating strong links between the private and public sectors, this innovative project engages hospitals and clinics at all levels that may lie outside the formal TB system,” said U.S. Consul General Rena Bitter at the workshop. “We are proud that the U.S. Government has been able to support and facilitate this work since its inception, and we look forward to seeing Vietnam move forward to build on the accomplishments and to take greater ownership for this strategy.”

Vietnam ranks twelfth out of 22 countries globally with a high burden of tuberculosis. One of the biggest challenges for Vietnam’s National TB Program (NTP) is to find people with TB early so that they can receive early TB treatment and also help limit exposing other community members to the illness. In collaboration with the NTP, the project, implemented by PATH, strengthened the capacity of providers to identify people with presumptive tuberculosis and refer them to tuberculosis facilities for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

The number of facilities participating in the PPM project increased from 210 facilities in 2007, mostly pharmacies, to over 1,100 facilities in 2013, including pharmacies, private clinics and hospitals, and non-NTP public hospitals in the four project provinces. The success of the PPM approach supported by the project has led to its expansion to over 20 other provinces. The lessons learned from this project have also contributed to development and issuance of a Ministry of Health circular in January 2013 on the coordination among health facilities, including private and non-NTP public ones, in tuberculosis management.

Since 2007, USAID, with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has been supporting TB control activities that bring the public and private sectors together to improve TB case detection and treatment in Vietnam.

Last updated: September 08, 2014

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