Liberia's National Leprosy and TB Control Programme was established in 1989 to organize and coordinate all leprosy and tuberculosis (TB) control activities nationwide.
The interruption of leprosy and TB service delivery during the civil war has contributed to the increased burden of leprosy and TB. In a bid to address this increase, Liberia endorsed and adopted the global Stop TB Strategy and DOTS, the basic package that underpins the Strategy and developed a 5-year National TB Strategic Plan (2007–2012) aimed at reducing the national burden of TB.
Liberia subsequently established partnership with the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to finance a 5-year plan (2008–2013) aimed at:
- reducing the burden of TB by 50%
- promoting the Stop TB Partnership targets of increasing case detection rate by 70%
- increasing treatment success rate by 85%.
The notification and treatment of TB are critical intervention strategies identified to achieving the programme goal and objectives.
This section of the Tuberculosis profile is structured as follows:
In Liberia, the notification of tuberculosis (TB) trend has shown a steady rise over the years, increasing from 1771 cases of all forms of TB being reported in 2001 to 5402 cases in 2011 (see Table 1). The increased detection rate can be attributed to the expansion of TB services to all parts of the country and an improvement in the capacity of the health system to diagnose and report cases.
The TB new case detection rate is gradually increasing, although there have been fluctuations between 2006 and 2008 (see Figure 1). The case detection rate for 2008 was 61%, compared with 71% in 2010. This figure is above the WHO recommended target of 70%. However, sustaining and increasing access is still a great challenge.
The TB treatment success rate (total number of patients who completed TB treatment and were declared cured) has shown remarkable improvement, increasing from 67% in 2008 to 82% in 2010 (see Figure 2). Factors associated with the increased treatment success rate include encouraging patients to continue treatment and dismissing myths associated with the disease.
There has been an increase and improvement in DOTS (the basic package that underpins the Stop TB Strategy) services to help facilitate adequate coverage in the country. Currently, 317 health facilities (57.5% of the 551 functional health facilities) are providing DOTS services throughout the country.