Open Access Open Badges Research article

Implementation of a national anti-tuberculosis drug resistance survey in Tanzania

Timothy M Chonde1, Basra Doulla1, Frank van Leth23*, Sayoki GM Mfinanga4, Nyagosya Range4, Fred Lwilla1, Saidi M Mfaume4, Armand van Deun5, Matteo Zignol6, Frank G Cobelens23 and Saidi M Egwaga1

Author Affiliations

1 National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

2 KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, The Hague, the Netherlands

3 Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

4 National Institute for Medical Research, Muhimbili Medical Research Centre, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

5 Mycobacteriology unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

6 Stop TB Department, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

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BMC Public Health 2008, 8:427  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-427

Published: 30 December 2008



A drug resistance survey is an essential public health management tool for evaluating and improving the performance of National Tuberculosis control programmes. The current manuscript describes the implementation of the first national drug resistance survey in Tanzania.


Description of the implementation process of a national anti-tuberculosis drug resistance survey in Tanzania, in relation to the study protocol and Standard Operating Procedures.


Factors contributing positively to the implementation of the survey were a continuous commitment of the key stakeholders, the existence of a well organized National Tuberculosis Programme, and a detailed design of cluster-specific arrangements for rapid sputum transportation. Factors contributing negatively to the implementation were a long delay between training and actual survey activities, limited monitoring of activities, and an unclear design of the data capture forms leading to difficulties in form-filling.


Careful preparation of the survey, timing of planned activities, a strong emphasis on data capture tools and data management, and timely supervision are essential for a proper implementation of a national drug resistance survey.