Tuberculosis control in a socially vulnerable area: A community intervention beyond DOT in a Brazilian favela

Elizabeth C.C. Soares, W. M. Vollmer, S. C. Cavalcante, A. G. Pacheco, V. Saraceni, J. S. Silva, G. R. Neves, J. E. Golub, A. R. Efron, B. Durovni, R. E. Chaisson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the population-based impact of a comprehensive intervention to strengthen tuberculosis (TB) control in Rocinha, the largest urban slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. DESIGN: In July 2003, 40 lay persons were hired and trained as community health workers to supervise treatment, implement educational activities and establish a supportive social network for anti-tuberculosis treatment. Between July 2005 and June 2008, a door-to-door active case finding campaign was conducted. Data were obtained from the Brazilian National Reporting System, which collects information from the TB notification form for every reported case. RESULTS: Between January 2001 and December 2008, 2623 TB cases were reported, 852 before and 1771 after the start of the program. Following the intervention, treatment success rates increased (67.6% vs. 83.2%, P < 0.001) and default rates dropped (17.8% vs. 5.5%, P < 0.001). Compared to the pre-intervention period, the TB case rate declined by an average of 39 cases per 100 000 population per 6 months (P = 0.003) in the post-intervention period, although this may have been due to secular trends already in place at the start of the intervention. Case rates declined from 591/100 000 in 2001 to 496/100 000 in 2008. CONCLUSION: With proper planning and effective community involvement, a successful intervention can lead to high cure rates and may contribute to a decrease in TB notification rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1581-1586+i
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • Community health workers
  • Incidence rate
  • Slum
  • TB case notification rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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