B : Programme Development
P Jagota, Sudha Xirasagar, N Parimala & K Chaudhuri: Indian J TB 1989, 36, 213-23.

An operational study of two regimens of Short Course Chemotherapy (SCC) to assess their efficacy under programme conditions, applicability and feasibility in District TB Programme (DTP) was undertaken in an urban TB centre. The two regimens studied were 1SHRZ/7TH and 2SHR/6TH. Their operational efficacy (efficiency) was found to be 87% and 92% respectively which had already been reported in an earlier paper. The various factors i.e., initial willingness, drug default, treatment completion pattern, adverse drug reactions and initial drug resistance with their potential harmful effects on the treatment outcome as well as work load and extra cost these regimens entail for DTP organisation are discussed in this paper.

Out of a total of 1822 smear positive patients diagnosed at the Lady Willingdon State TB Centre during intake period (Feb '84 to March '85), 1126 were residents of Bangalore City. Of these 695 (61.7%) were unwilling to attend the clinic daily for 2 months, 27 were unfit and one was excluded by mistake. Thus, 403 (38.3%) initially willing patients were classified either as 'core group' or 'Non core group’, according to the history of previous anti TB treatment (321 and 82 respectively). Of the 695 (77.6%) unwilling persons, majority were those who pleaded inability to attend daily for 2 months without specifying any particular reason. Refusal of SCC due to injections accounted for 12.8% and 9.5% wanted to take treatment elsewhere. Old age influenced willingness adversely.

Of the 321 patients in the core group, 56 were excluded due to missing more than 50% of intensive phase doses. Among the remaining patients, 61 (48%) out of 127 patients on Regimen A and 48 (34%) out of 138 on Regimen B, did not make a single default in the intensive phase. Of the total 910 defaults for which actions were taken, 640 (70%) were retrieved by letter writing, among the remaining 293 (72%) were retrieved by home visiting. Main reasons for default elicited during home visits were: going out of station (52.9%) followed by patients being busy with work (19.1%). Compensatory phase was availed by 156 of the 265 patients who missed one or more doses due to default in the treatment. The pattern of treatment completion of 321 core group patients in the two regimens were similar i.e., in both the phases 65% for Regimen A and 63% for Regimen B. Incidence of minor adverse reactions was 28% and major toxic reactions were experienced by 8.4% of patients. Workload for treating 321 patients was due to supervised administration of drug 45 patients per day. Letter writing to 3.1 per patients, home visiting 1.1 per patient and doctor's attention for adverse reaction 2 occasions per patient. This could be managed with the existing staff. The cost of Regimen A was Rs.220/ per patient and for Regimen B, 268/ per patient. Cost to patient for transportation was Rs.70/ and Rs.113/ for Regimen A and B respectively.The major disturbing finding of the study was initial low acceptability of about 40% for SCC. The home visiting which was crucial in increasing the completion rate in this study is usually not available in most of the DTCs. Workload, adverse reactions etc. were not of any problem for implementation of SCC in the programme.


K Padmanabha Rao, SS Nair, N Cobbold & N Naganathan: Indian J TB 1966, 13, 61- 76 & Bull WHO 1966, 34, 589-604.

Laboratory diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis is based on the presence of tubercle bacilli in sputum by direct microscopy, culture and/or animal inoculation. Culture examination, followed by tests for identifying the bacilli, is recognized as the most accurate and reliable method. Its efficacy depends on the laboratory techniques employed and its use in different practical situations such as epidemiological surveys, active community Case-finding, organization of diagnostic services and evaluation of diagnosis and treatment in tuberculosis control programmes. But the practicability of culture method in developing countries must be studied. The present paper deals with a systematic study of data from four investigations designed to elucidate the influence of certain operational factors on the utility of the culture method.

STUDY I: is a longitudinal survey in a randomly selected population in 134 villages in the three sub-divisions of Bangalore district. The analysis is based on the material from the first round, when two samples of sputum, (spot and overnight) were collected at intervals of 24-48 hours from persons aged 5 years and above having abnormal x ray shadows. The specimens were collected in house to house visits, stored after collection in insulated box with ice container and transported to the main laboratory at the National Tuberculosis Institute (NTI). The interval between collection of specimens in the field and culture in the laboratory was 1-7 days. A smear was stained and examined first by fluorescence microscopy and then by Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) method. Each specimen was cultured on two slopes of Lowenstein-Jensen medium. All positive cultures were submitted to further identification tests; i.e., growth at room temperature, rate of growth at 37%C, pigment production in the dark and exposure to light, catalase and peroxidase reactions, niacin production, and sensitivity to INH, SM and PAS. STUDY II: relates to a mass Case-finding programme in Tumkur district when two specimens (spot and overnight) were collected from individuals aged 20 years and above with symptoms suggestive of pulmonary tuberculosis and from positive tuberculin reactors below 20 years voluntarily reporting with symptoms. The specimens were then treated in the same way as in Study I. STUDY III: pertains to the technical assessment of microscopy using Ziehl-Neelsen method performed by the auxiliary health staff of Peripheral Health Institutions in Bangalore district. A spot specimen was collected daily by auxiliary staff at each health facility from patients who were symptomatics. All smears were examined by ZN method at each centre and the corresponding sputum specimens were transported to NTI laboratory twice weekly. Duplicate smears were made and reexamined and culture was also done at NTI. All positive cultures were identified as in Study I. No refrigeration facilities were available in these centres and specimens were not transported in an insulated box. Rest of the procedures were followed as in previous studies. STUDY IV: is connected with operational and technical assessment of the District Tuberculosis Programme in Anantapur district one year after its commencement. A sample was taken from all patients who started treatment during a particular period but did not collect their drugs. Spot specimens were collected in the field, stored without any refrigeration and transported to NTI laboratory, thereafter the same procedure was followed as above.

An analysis of these four studies brought out certain operational factors affecting the culture method. (1) The results showed that an interval of 7 days between collection of sputum in the field and its processing in the laboratory did not affect the yield of positive cultures, even though the specimens were stored and transported under field conditions. (2) A higher proportion of positive cases were detected by culture than by direct microscopy but the magnitude of additional yield was dependant upon the procedure of selecting persons for sputum examination. (3) In service programmes restricted to persons with symptoms who attend diagnostic centres, the increase in yield is too small, to justify the introduction of culture examination.