The American University of Armenia (AUA)’s School of Public Health (SPH) researchers and faculty members Nune Truzyan (MPH 2003), Byron Crape, Ruzanna Grigoryan (MPH 2007), Hripsime Martirosyan (MPH 2005), and Varduhi Petrosyan have published an article, entitled “Increased Risk for Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Migratory Workers, Armenia,” in the March 2015 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, an official journal of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The journal is ranked 3rd out of 70 infectious disease journals (ISI Citation Reports) and 1st of the top 20 publications in Epidemiology (Google Scholar h-Index).
The article focuses on tuberculosis (TB) treatment outcomes and understanding the utilization of tuberculosis services for migrant laborers, evaluating how characteristics of migrant laborers influence utilization of TB services in both the host country of work and the country of origin. The article analyzed a cross-sectional census of 95 migratory laborers who were diagnosed with tuberculosis and had worked in other countries over the last four years. The research team collected the data through medical record reviews and face to face interviews.
The authors concluded that, “among migrant workers with a diagnosis of TB, migratory work was associated with higher rates of MDR TB and HIV co-infection, which suggested that migratory work may provide impetus for the spread of HIV infection and TB. Treatment for TB that started in the host country of work was usually interrupted because migrant workers wanted to return to Armenia. Some of these workers did not resume treatment for TB in Armenia. Those migrant workers with TB who experienced treatment delays, dropped out of therapy, or had therapy interrupted were likely to increase the period of infectivity and spread TB to other persons.”
The authors suggest that the study could be “an example for further large-scale projects worldwide, especially in the Commonwealth of Independent States region, to explore the correlation between migrant labor and TB.”
Anonymous reviewers of the article commented that “the paper uses innovative approaches in data collection” and “it could fill the knowledge gap in what we know about migratory labor.”
The research project was possible thanks to a grant (RA MOHG SPSPC-11/3-1) from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia, the first such grant the SPH has received from them. It was implemented with support from the National TB Control Center and Global Fund Program Coordination Team of the Ministry of Health.
The article can be accessed here
The AUA School of Public Health works actively to improve the health of the populace and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals and others to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.