Evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacts tuberculosis (TB) activities. As TB and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, we assessed the effectiveness of integrated TB/COVID-19 screening in Guinea and Niger. From May to December 2020, TB screening was offered to symptomatic patients after a negative COVID-19 PCR test or after recovery from COVID-19 in Guinea. From December 2020 to March 2021, all presumptive COVID-19 patients with respiratory symptoms were tested simultaneously for COVID-19 and TB in Niger. We assessed the TB detection yield and used micro-costing to estimate the costs associated with both screening algorithms. A total of 863 individuals (758 in Guinea, and 105 in Niger), who were mostly male (60%) and with a median age of 34 (IQR: 26-45), were screened for TB. Reported symptoms were cough >= 2 weeks (49%), fever (45%), and weight loss (30%). Overall, 61 patients (7%) tested positive for COVID-19 (13 in Guinea, 48 in Niger) and 43 (4.9%) were diagnosed with TB disease (35 or 4.6% in Guinea, and 8 or 7.6% in Niger). The cost per person initiating TB treatment was USD $367 in Guinea and $566 in Niger. Overall, the yield of both approaches was high, and the cost was modest. Optimizing integrated COVID-19/TB screening may support maintaining TB detection during the ongoing pandemic.
- active TB screening