Northern eThekwini Community Outreach (NETCOT)
Location: Norther eThekwini, South Africa
Partner: University Research Corporation (URC)
Donor: USAID/South Africa
In 2008, as a sub grantee to University Research Corporation (URC), MCDI began implementing the Northern eThekwini Community Outreach Project – a community-based HIV and TB project in the northern eThekwini District (Durban) of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
NETCOT was designed to address the following core priorities related to South Africa's HIV and TB burden: 1) Low treatment adherence and cure rates, 2) Poor service integration and statistical documentation between TB, Voluntary Counseling and Treatment (VCT) and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) services in health facilities, 3) High rate of TB among family members of TB patients and poor active case finding and screening contacts, 4) Impact of stigma and traditional beliefs on lack of prompt or consistent care-seeking, and 5) High treatment default rates and increased potential for the spread of multi- and extensive-drug resistant TB.
NETCOT's goal was to increase TB case and contact finding, reduce TB transmission, morbidity and mortality as well as to reduce the disease burden resulting from TB and TB/HIV co-infection through increased community awareness about TB and HIV/TB co-infection. NETCOT improved treatment adherence rates by expanding and enhancing community-based Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS) support through collaborating with local Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to train and supervise community and family DOTS Supporters, raise awareness of the importance of TB testing and VCT and to develop effective and persuasive communication skills with TB patients regarding their treatment regimen.
The project introduced FPLs to improve HIV/TB service integration through cross referrals and improved the quality and continuity of care for TB and HIV by training and supervising CBO liaisons. One of the key project achievements was to initiate community and home visit campaigns for active case finding and contact tracing. Through this project MCDI also strengthened the National Contact Tracing Campaigns by working very closely with the government mobile teams, including training of tracers, community and facility health workers on contact tracing, reporting and referrals as well as community infection control.