Online, Self-Administered Screening Tool for Improving TB Detection among University Students in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is one of the most populous countries in Africa with a high TB burden across a wide geography. The national TB program has reached hundreds of thousands of cases and successfully treated them. However, health authorities believe that a third of cases have been missed in the community, development corridors, industries, and crowded settings, such as universities. Over the last decade, the country has expanded the number of universities to nearly 50. Unfortunately, effective TB prevention and care activities have not kept pace with this expansion, especially as the number of students continues to grow and many students room together. Most tertiary-level students are free from TB. However, a few infected students can transmit the disease to many others. Because of the relatively low estimated incidence and high turnover of student populations, face-to-face mass screening may not be feasible. The USAID-funded Challenge TB (CTB) Project piloted an online, self-administered screening as an initial screening tool for university students in Ethiopia. The objective was to assess the feasibility and yield of self-administered tools for identifying missing cases of TB among the student population. The tool was developed in partnership with the national TB program through a consultative process that involved students and university administration.