Tuberculosis remains a leading public health challenge in Nepal. Many people still face barriers to access diagnosis and treatment for this curable disease, particularly those in rural areas. BNMT has developed an active case finding programme to bring diagnosis to people unable to access standard care and we continue to refine our approach through research, with the ultimate goal to reach, diagnose and treat every case in the community. This work was initially supported by two TB REACH grants and continues under the IMPACT TB programme. Our evidence has shown that patient-centric active case finding models can overcome many of the barriers to access, reach the most vulnerable families, reduce patient-incurred catastrophic costs and improve case notification yields. Our policy research has highlighted the evidence gaps for tuberculosis active case finding globally, as well as the facilitators and barriers identified by stakeholders in the translation pathway between evidence generation, policy adoption and implementation of novel strategies.
Through innovation such as establishing a drone network for sample transport in rural Nepal (www.drones4nepal.org), we seek to evaluate how novel technologies can be integrated into existing health systems to improve equity of access to advanced diagnostic technologies, particularly for rural communities.
BNMT is currently exploring the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on access to TB diagnosis and care in Nepal, with the aim to inform development of more resilient health services to withstand future emergencies.
Our research spectrum aims to identify the biological, social and economic challenges and recommend locally appropriate solutions to create resilient health services.
Objective To explore experts’ views on factors influencing national and global active case-finding (ACF) policy development and implementation, and the use of evidence in these processes.