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Evaluation of community-based treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis in Bangladesh
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    Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) threatens global TB control because it is difficult to diagnose and treat. Community-based programmatic management of drug-resistant TB (cPMDT) has made therapy easier for patients, but data on these models are scarce. Bangladesh initiated cPMDT in 2012, and in 2013, we sought to evaluate programme performance.


    In this retrospective review, we abstracted demographic, clinical, microbiologic and treatment outcome data for all patients enrolled in the cPMDT programme over 6 months in three districts of Bangladesh. We interviewed a convenience sample of patients about their experience in the programme.


    Chart review was performed on 77 patients. Sputum smears and cultures were performed, on average, once every 1.35 and 1.36 months, respectively. Among 74 initially culture-positive patients, 70 (95%) converted their cultures and 69 (93%) patients converted the cultures before the sixth month. Fifty-two (68%) patients had evidence of screening for adverse events. We found written documentation of musculoskeletal complaints for 16 (21%) patients, gastrointestinal adverse events for 16 (21%), hearing loss for eight (10%) and psychiatric events for four (5%) patients; conversely, on interview of 60 patients, 55 (92%) reported musculoskeletal complaints, 54 (90%) reported nausea, 36 (60%) reported hearing loss, and 36 (60%) reported psychiatric disorders.


    The cPMDT programme in Bangladesh appears to be programmatically feasible and clinically effective; however, inadequate monitoring of adverse events raises some concern. As the programme is brought to scale nationwide, renewed efforts at monitoring adverse events should be prioritised.

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    001/World Health Organization/International
    CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
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