TB-diabetes pilot project highlights burden of co-infection in Uganda and Zimbabwe

The first of its kind in the two countries, the two-year pilot project provided active screening and care for chronic diabetes in 20 urban health facilities where rates were known to be high and lifestyle factors that are established diabetes risks are prevalent. All people diagnosed with TB, including children, were tested for diabetes at these facilities as part of the screening process.

Since its inception in January 2016, the programme has screened 5,565 TB patients for diabetes, 206 of whom were diagnosed and provided with ongoing chronic care in the two countries. In Zimbabwe, 816 people with diabetes were also screened for TB, 27 of whom were diagnosed and connected to treatment.

The programme strengthened capacity for diabetes screening and care among TB patients by training health workers and providing supervision, technical guidelines and support. As a result of this project, diabetes screenings have increased and quality of care has improved within the involved TB clinics.

The project ran from January 2016 through September 2017 with funding from the World Diabetes Foundation in both Uganda and Zimbabwe. The Union implemented this programme in partnership with Uganda’s Ministry of Health Non-communicable Disease Programme, the National TB and Leprosy Programme and the Kampala City Health Authority, and Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Care, the National TB Programme and the Department of Health Services of the City of Harare.