In Ghana’s rural mining communities, an integrated mobile clinic approach was used to screen and diagnose TB, HIV, and COVID-19, reaching thousands and identifying numerous cases. Discover how this efficient strategy helps tackle these diseases by providing critical diagnostics and care in high-risk areas.

Photo Credit: Delft Imaging Ghana Office (2 Biomedical Engineers) // Source: Container Relocation // Location: Ghana

An integrated mobile case-finding approach for TB, HIV, and COVID-19 was implemented in 58 rural mining communities in the Western, Eastern and Ashanti Regions of Ghana. It leveraged the NTP’s OneStopTB mobile clinic, equipped with digital X-ray, CAD4TB, and GeneXpert testing, to reach high-risk and symptomatic community members.

Between October 2022 and March 2023, high-risk community members and those with presumptive symptoms first underwent integrated symptom screening for TB, HIV and COVID-19. Clients meeting symptom-based criteria or CAD4TB score > 60 were subsequently tested with GeneXpert. Antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests were used for COVID-19 and HIV testing. Clients with positive diagnoses were linked to confirmatory testing (HIV) or care at district hospitals.

Overall, 5475 individuals were reached and 5,409 (98.79%), 4,971 (90.79%), and 5,208 (95.12%) completed screening and testing for TB, HIV, and COVID-19, respectively. 104 COVID-19 cases and 109 HIV infections were identified, 30 of which were previously diagnosed. Sputum samples were collected from 596 (11.02%) clients, yielding 36 MTB+ cases.

The deployment of integrated diagnostic services proved effective in identifying cases of TB, HIV, and COVID-19, partly owing to germane symptom presentations, and may benefit similar resource-limited settings.

REFERENCE: Quakyi, N. K. (2023, November 15-18). Implementation of integrated mobile case-finding for TB, HIV and COVID-19 in rural mining communities in Ghana [Conference session]. The Union World Conference on Lung Health 2023, Paris, France.