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Determining the value of TB active case-finding: current evidence and methodological considerations

14 April 2021
MBI researcher publication: The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Active case-finding (ACF) is an important component of the End TB Strategy. However, ACF is resource-intensive, and the economics of ACF are not well-understood. Research is essential to the optimal implementation, cost-effectiveness, and affordability of ACF in high-burden settings.

H Sohn, S Sweeney, D Mudzengi, J Creswell, N Menzies, G Fox, P MacPherson, D Dowdy

Data on the costs of ACF are limited, with little consistency in the units and methods used to estimate and report costs. Mathematical models to forecast the long-term effects of ACF require empirical measurements of the yield, timing and costs of case detection. Pragmatic trials offer an opportunity to assess the cost-effectiveness of ACF interventions within a ‘real-world´ context. However, such analyses generally require early introduction of economic evaluations to enable prospective data collection on resource requirements. Closing the global case-detection gap will require substantial additional resources, including continued investment in innovative technologies. Research is essential to the optimal implementation, cost-effectiveness, and affordability of ACF in high-burden settings. To assess the value of ACF, we must prioritize the collection of high-quality data regarding costs and effectiveness, and link those data to analytical models that are adapted to local settings.

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