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Public Health Program



With support of the national tuberculosis (TB) program, KHANA (a local non-governmental organization in Cambodia) has implemented an innovative approach using a seed-and-recruit model to actively find TB cases in the community. The model engaged community members including TB survivors as seed and newly diagnosed people with TB as recruiters to recruit presumptive TB cases in their social network in a snowball approach for screening and linkage to treatment. This study aimed to explore the acceptability of the active case finding with the seed-and-recruit model in detecting new TB cases and determine the characteristics of successful seeds.


This qualitative study was conducted in four provinces (Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Chhnang, Siem Reap, and Takeo) in Cambodia in 2017. Fifty-six in-depth interviews and ten focus group discussions (with a total of 64 participants) were conducted with selected beneficiaries and key stakeholders at different levels to gain insights into the acceptability, strengths, and challenges in implementing the model and the characteristics of successful seeds. Transcripts were coded and content analyses were performed.


The seed-and-recruit active case finding model was generally well-received by the study participants. They saw the benefits of engaging TB survivors and utilizing their social network to find new TB cases in the community. The social embeddedness of the model within the local community was one of the major strengths. The success of the model also hinges on the integration with existing health facilities. Having an extensive social network, being motivated, and having good knowledge about TB were important characteristics of successful seeds. Study participants reported challenges in motivating the presumptive TB cases for screening, logistic capacities, and high workload during the implementation. However, there was a general consensus that the model ought to be expanded.


These findings indicate that the seed-and-recruit model is well-accepted by the beneficiaries and key stakeholders. Further studies are needed to more comprehensively evaluate the impacts and cost-effectiveness of the model for future expansion in Cambodia as well as in other resource-limited settings.

Publisher's Statement

Originally published in PLoS ONE 14(7), [Article e0210919]. The original material can be found here.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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