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Improving the health of the population in Romania by increasing TB control

Project financed by the Norwegian Grants 2009 - 2014, within the RO 19 - Public Health Initiative.

One of the project activities is the updating of the national tuberculosis patient database which includes data on all patients, from diagnosis to follow-up, monitoring, assessment, treatment course, etc., say the specialists at the “Marius Nasta” Institute of Pulmonology. It is a sort of patient register, explains the Institute’s manager, dr. Gilda Popescu. “The database is useful for the medical system because we practically know exactly what happens with each patient who starts an anti-TB treatment and, year after year, we have information about that patient in the system. A patient is registered only once, but there are data about everything that happens to him or her – all the hospital admissions, everything,” she details.

This database is also filled out and updated with data on the patients with multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. The information is extremely useful, and very important reports may be drawn up based on it. “This is an upgrade of the existing database which was done by extending the information, including a development based on the modern diagnostic component, such as liquid media and molecular diagnostic, and the component related to therapies other than the standard therapy for sensitive tuberculosis. This database is also useful for international reporting,” dr. Victor Spînu added.

Moreover, specialists explain, in addition to diagnostic-related data, the database includes other patient information, such as the place of residence, age, developments in their condition, etc. Many things may be found if all this is analysed. For example, why there are more patients in a certain county, why certain patients do not heal, whether the situation is in any way related to age or social status, or whether it is related to another factor.