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About the MXU Project

The Regional Public Health group have agreed to undertake a two-year pilot project to reduce the incidence of TB in London. A mobile digital chest X-ray service (MXU) will target groups at higher risk of TB, through active case-finding, over a two year period. The MXU would use mobile digital chest radiography unit capable of safely screening 300 people a day. The project is to be financed with funding received for TB service development from the Department of Health.

Since 1988 TB rates have doubled in London, and trebled in many Inner London boroughs. 3,163 cases were logged on to the London TB Register in 2002. London is responsible for virtually all the growth in TB cases in England in the last 10 years.

Crucially, the MXU will offer on-the-spot evaluation of the patient and helps raise awareness of TB among risk groups and those who work with them. The groups who would be targeted have poor access to health services, where delayed presentation equals increased transmission.

The MXU was launched on World TB Day – 24th March 2005 by the Mayor of London at City Hall. Following this launch the service will access groups at high risk of TB across London. The following groups have been identified:

  • Homeless people including rough sleepers and people living in temporary or hostel accommodation.
  • People from countries where TB is endemic.
  • Prison inmates
  • Hard Drug users and Street-drinkers

Taking this approach to make contact with the above groups is crucially important. Traditional approaches to control are ineffective for transient groups with complex needs and large outbreaks involving drug users, homeless persons and prisoners are ongoing and often not controlled.


MXU Poster

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High incidence of TB is still confined to identifiable high-risk groups; we therefore have an opportunity to detect cases in these groups before they become infectious and "get ahead of the curve" before TB spills over into the wider community.

This is an innovative health outreach project with the primary purpose of reducing TB and thereby improving the health of targeted socially excluded groups in London.

For the period of the project the unit will systematically visit areas of high incidence. The five TB sectors will decide on their priorities for use of the unit. The project Manager is currently working on an operational plan for the project ensuring that representation of the project in each of the sectors is proportional to the number of TB case notifications, the population and giving regard to levels of social deprivation.

Please contact Terry Joe, MXU Project Manager, on 020 7380 9738 for further information.



Related downloads

TB guide