Background. 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.
Methods. 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.
Results. 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.
Conclusion. 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.
BMC Public Health (2008) 8: 427 [doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-427]