The City of Houston, Harris County, Texas is a large metropolitan city with an estimated population of 2,288,250. Tuberculosis continues to be a significant health problem in Houston, Texas. Houston reported 148 TB cases in 2021 and
reported between 14.9% and 16.5% of the cases reported in Texas during each of the last five years. The current case rate of 6.4 in 2021 is almost twice the rate of that for the State of Texas (3.36) and almost three times the national rate of
The Bureau of Tuberculosis Control (Houston TB Bureau), Houston Health Department is charged with the responsibility of preventing, controlling and eventually eliminating TB in the City of Houston jurisdictional area. The Houston TB Bureau employs methods that promote TB core activities and strategies to obtain TB Program and National TB objectives. The primary methods employed are case management; including weekly case management team conferences; NTIP monitoring through the TB Presets computer system; directly observed therapy (DOT) for curative treatment; directly observed therapy for latent TB infection; video directly observed therapy (vDOT); enhanced self-administered therapy (ESAT); multilingual culturally competent field services team; contact interview team; dispatch system for contact follow up; maintaining expanded TB Registry; expanded computer tracking system; partnerships and collaboration with community based
organizations and other community agencies/facilities; patient education; professional education and systematic evaluation of activities and strategies to assess and monitor program performance and patient outcomes.
The Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) program was initiated by President Biden in April 2022 with the goal to ensure a safe and clear process for Ukrainians entering the US as a parolee due to Russia invading Ukraine. The CDC has issued a supplement to its current Cooperative Agreement which includes specific guidance as it relates to TB screening, evaluation, and treatment. The HHD Bureau of Tuberculosis Control has, in response, developed a plan of action, that is in alignment with the CDC guidance, to meet the needs of those entering the City of Houston jurisdiction through the U4U program. The Bureau will collaborate with Houston-based Refugee agencies and partnering community TB Clinics to identify U4U clients and promote screening and identification of TB infection and TB disease, TB evaluation, and completion of TB treatment, as indicated in the CDC guidance.