Sierra Leone is among the 30 countries in the world with a high TB burden. In 2017, an estimated 23000 people in Sierra Leone fell ill with TB and 3000 died from the disease; 2500 children became ill with TB; 1 in 4 HIV deaths was due to TB and an estimated 430 people developed multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
The Delft Approach
In 2018, 12 digital X-ray systems were installed at the Connaught and at 10 district hospitals, through a tender by IDA Foundation that was Global Fund supported. These systems are entirely solar powered and include charging batteries that allow 4-6 hours of operation at night when grid power may be unavailable.
Also, Delft supplied two portable X-ray systems for active case finding of tuberculosis with Computer Aided Detection (CAD4TB). In a next phase the images can be transferred to a central archive using teleradiology, bringing remote expertise to local doctors.
The Government of Sierra Leone also included a 5-year maintenance contract for all systems coordinated by Delft’s local service partner and its subsidiary Universal Delft in Ghana.
Making an Impact
August 2018 and February 2019 Delft organised two 2 days IT training sessions, which were arranged specifically for the IT Officers of Sierra Leones X-ray project participating hospitals after they received the Delft Digital X-ray systems equipped with CAD4TB and PACS software for early detection of tuberculosis. In addition Dr. Verhagen of Universal Delft provided a Chest X-ray Reading and Tuberculosis Course for Doctors and Physician Assistants at the main hospital in Freetown last April.