Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Print version ISSN 0042-9686
SOLTAN, Viorel; HENRY, Asma Khalid; CRUDU, Valeriu and ZATUSEVSKI, Irina. Increasing tuberculosis case detection: lessons from the Republic of Moldova. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2008, vol.86, n.1, pp.71-76. ISSN 0042-9686. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0042-96862008000100018.
The Republic of Moldova undertook reforms in tuberculosis (TB) control and health care consistent with international recommendations and advanced towards the global target for case detection. The number of TB cases notified increased overall by 50% during 2001-2005. Expansion of the DOTS strategy and full coverage coincided with a greater role for primary health care (PHC) in TB control and the advent of national insurance for TB diagnosis and treatment. These developments and improvements in laboratories, surveillance, medical personnel skills, and public awareness contributed to increased case detection. The Republic of Moldova addressed both demand and supply sides in these efforts. It increased effective demand for TB services by dispersing diagnostic capability, instituting financing mechanisms and saturating the public with information on symptoms, transmission and treatment. It increased the supply of TB services by upgrading the laboratory network, revamping surveillance and training practitioners. The Republic of Moldova's experience offers lessons for other countries: TB-PHC integration allowed more suspect cases to be diagnosed at nearby PHC clinics, contributing to more cases being notified. Innovative TB communications reached the general public, vulnerable groups, practitioners and the media. TB control projects built on each other and national coordination mechanisms served to identify funding for the most pressing needs. There are challenges remaining for TB control in the Republic of Moldova, not least the stable treatment success rate, but the country can list valuable lessons and achievements.