Prevalence of delay in seeking tuberculosis care and the health care seeking behaviour profile of tuberculous patients in a rural district of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

Linda Chiposi, Lindiwe Priscilla Cele*, Mathildah Mokgatle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: patient delay in seeking TB (tuberculosis) care is reported as one of the major hurdles undermining the efforts of controlling TB by many TB control programmes of the world. The main aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of this phenomenon and to profile the TB patients that delayed seeking TB care in a rural area of KwaZulu Natal province of South Africa. Methods: this was a cross-sectional study, conducted among 200 TB patients attending primary health care facilities in Ugu District. Patient data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire, entered into an Excel file and imported into the EpiInfo 7 statistical software for analysis. Frequency tables were used to display the data and the p value was used for statistical significance. Results: about 40% of the participants delayed seeking TB care in this study, and these were mostly individuals who were married, the employed and those who walked to the clinic. Delay was also prevalent among those that self-medicated, bought medication from the pharmacy and sought TB care from a private doctor. The reasons included the great distances, long queues waiting at the facilities, and not feeling ill. Conclusion: the 4 weeks cut-off in seeking TB care in this study far exceeds the recommended 2 weeks. This study recommends periodic active TB case finding and active engagement between the public and the private health sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalPan African Medical Journal
Volume39
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

Keywords

  • Cross sectional
  • Pharmacy
  • Prevalence
  • Primary health care
  • South Africa

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