Increasing Case Notifications Via Mobile Diagnostic Units In Nigeria

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A Wellness on Wheels Mobile Diagnostic Unit
A Wellness on Wheels Mobile Diagnostic Unit
Photo credit: KNCV

TB and DR-TB remain large problems in Nigeria, which bears one of the highest TB burdens in Africa. To improve TB case detection and reduce test result turnaround time, USAID supports two Wellness on Wheels Mobile Diagnostic Units (WOW Units) that rotate within 14 of the country’s high TB burden states. These units are each equipped with two GeneXpert instruments, as well as with a digital X-ray machine with artificial intelligence. All components are powered by solar inverters and a backup power generator. Implemented by a local partner, these trucks engage in active TB case finding and then refer individuals who test positive for appropriate TB treatment at health facilities.

From April to December 2020, the WOW Units screened 28,959 people. Of these, nearly 13 percent were identified as having presumptive TB, and nearly 15 percent of those individuals then tested positive for TB. Despite COVID-19’s impacts, scaling up of active case finding interventions, such as the Wellness on Wheels initiative, helped contribute to Nigeria nationally recording a 16 percent increase in TB case notifications in 2020.

In addition, while WOW Units were originally targeted toward TB screening and diagnosis, the trucks were adapted to dually screen and test community-based clients for TB and COVID-19 in two states. Between June and October 2020, 1,252 people were screened for COVID-19, yielding 210 positive cases.

Last updated: February 25, 2022

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