Tuberculosis in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Koenig SP, Rouzier V, Vilbrun SC, Morose W, Collins SE, Joseph P, Decome D, Ocheretina O, Galbaud S, Hashiguchi L, Pierrot J, Pape JW

Bull World Health Organ. 2015 Jul 1;93(7):498-502.


In 2010, Haiti sustained a devastating earthquake that crippled the health-care infrastructure in the capital city, Port-au-Prince, and left 1.5 million people homeless. Subsequently, there was an increase in reported tuberculosis in the affected population.
Approach: We conducted active tuberculosis case finding in a camp for internally displaced persons and a nearby slum. Community health workers screened for tuberculosis at the household level. People with persistent cough were referred to a physician. The National Tuberculosis Program continued its national tuberculosis reporting system.
Local settings: Even before the earthquake, Haiti had the highest tuberculosis incidence in the Americas. About half of the tuberculosis cases occur in the Port-au-Prince region.
Relevant changes: The number of reported tuberculosis cases in Haiti has increased after the earthquake, but data are too limited to determine if this is due to an increase in tuberculosis burden or to improved case detection. Compared to previous national estimates (230 per 100 000 population), undiagnosed tuberculosis was threefold higher in a camp for internally displaced persons (693 per 100 000) and fivefold higher in an urban slum (1165 per 100 000). With funding from the World Health Organization (WHO), active case finding is now being done systematically in slums and camps.
Lessons learnt: Household-level screening for prolonged cough was effective in identifying patients with active tuberculosis in this study. Without accurate data, early detection of rising tuberculosis rates is challenging; data collection should be incorporated into pragmatic disease response programmes

View article