Impact of an Innovative Childhood TB Diagnostic Approach Decentralized to District Hospital and Primary Health Care Levels on Childhood Tuberculosis Case Detection and Management in High Tuberculosis Incidence Countries (TB-Speed Decentralisation Study)

  • End date
    Mar 11, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Institut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Médicale, France
Updated on 12 September 2021


The TB-Speed Decentralisation study aims to increase childhood Tuberculosis (TB) case detection at district hospital (DH) and Primary health Care (PHC) levels using adapted and child-friendly specimen collection methods, i.e. Nasopharyngeal Aspirate (NPA) and stool samples, sensitive microbiological detection tests (Ultra) close to the point-of-care (Omni/G1(Edge)), reinforced training on clinical diagnosis, and standardized CXR quality and interpretation using digital radiography.

The TB-Speed Decentralisation study will evaluate the impact of an innovative patient care level diagnostic approach deployed at DH and PHC levels, namely the DH focused and the PHC focused decentralization strategies. This is aimed at, improving case detection in 6 high TB incidence in low/moderate resource countries: Cambodia, Cameroon, Cte d'Ivoire, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, and compare effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the two different decentralization approaches.

The hypothesis is that, in countries with high and very high TB incidence (100-299 and 300 cases/100,000 population/year, respectively), a systematic approach to the screening for and diagnosis of TB in sick children presenting to the health system will increase childhood TB case detection, especially PTB, which represents the majority of the disease burden (>75% of case)(40). The study also hypothesizes that sputum collection using battery-operated suction machines and microbiological TB diagnosis using Omni/G1 (Edge) can be decentralized to PHC level, thus enabling TB diagnosis and treatment in children at PHC level.


This will be an operational research study using:

  • a before and after cross-sectional design to assess the impact of decentralizing an innovative childhood TB diagnostic approach
  • a cross-sectional and nested cohort design to compare two different decentralization strategies at DH and PHC levels.
  • quantitative and qualitative methods The intervention will be at two levels: at patient care level where an innovative childhood TB diagnostic approach will be implemented, and at health systems level where two distinct decentralization strategies will be implemented. The patient care level TB diagnostic approach consists of systematic TB screening, clinical evaluation, NPA and stool or sputum testing using Xpert Ultra, and optimised CXR reading. The two decentralization strategies are the DH-focused and the PHC-focused implementation of the innovative childhood TB diagnostic approach. Two districts per participating countries will be randomly assigned to implement the DH or PHC-focused strategies.

The study will also include a nested cohort at both the DH and PHC during the intervention phase for a selected sub-set of children with presumptive TB and all children with a diagnosis of TB that consent to participate. This prospective cohort will enable to further document study endpoints related to follow up (TB treatment outcome) and to document TB diagnosis by assessing spontaneous resolution or resolution under TB treatment.

The study will comprise an observation phase followed by an intervention phase in participating districts. During the last month of the observation phase, each district will be randomly assigned to implement either DH or PHC-focused decentralisation. There will be no patient level randomisation.

During this 3-month observation phase, the study will 1) describe the childhood TB diagnosis data and practices; 2) describe the referral processes and outcomes of referrals for TB diagnosis and treatment where feasible and 3) assess existing challenges in childhood TB diagnosis and treatment, as well as readiness (including potential challenges) for the study intervention implementation There will be no interference with the routine TB childhood diagnosis processes.

Mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative) will be used including the collection of retrospective and prospective aggregated data by study nurses from facility registers, the implementation of a self-administered questionnaire among all healthcare workers (HCWs), the observation of consultations and care provided, and the conduct of individual interviews with HCWs and key informants.

At the beginning of the intervention phase, a 3-months preparation period will set up the health facilities for decentralization by providing equipment, materials, and reagents, training health workers in childhood TB care, in NPA and stool collection and testing on Ultra, setting up G1 (Edge) at PHC or G4 at DH if not already available and digital CXR and CXR quality control. Existing health care workers will be trained in childhood TB care according to the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) guidelines, and also in NPA and stool collection and testing on Ultra for study purposes.

Implementation of the innovative childhood TB diagnostic approach at the selected DH and PHC will start as soon as sites are equipped and HCWs trained in childhood TB care and NPA and stool collection, and will implement continued capacity building at sites, regular clinical mentoring visits with NTP or their representative, and continued CXR quality control.

The 6-month prospective cohort follow-up study will be initiated immediately and will consecutively include every tenth child with presumptive TB and all children diagnosed with TB.

Individual data collection will be initiated as soon as the innovative childhood TB diagnostic approach including NPA and stool sample collection and Ultra testing is implemented in the site and will be conducted throughout the intervention phase to document secondary endpoints. Aggregated data for TB screening will be collected throughout the study.

Feasibility, acceptability, and compliance to the intervention protocol will be assessed by mixed methods including a repeat self-administered questionnaire among all HCWs, observations of consultations and care provided, and individual interviews with HCWs, National TB program & local health authorities representatives, and beneficiaries. i.e. parents/guardians.

Condition Tuberculosis in Children
Treatment Decentralization of Childhood TB Diagnosis
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04038632
SponsorInstitut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Médicale, France
Last Modified on12 September 2021


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Inclusion Criteria

Sick children seeking care at Oupatient Department of District Hospital or Primary Health Center
Age <15 years

Exclusion Criteria

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