Delay in tuberculosis case-finding and treatment in Mwanza, Tanzania.
ABSTRACT Health facilities in Mwanza region, Tanzania.
To determine factors responsible for delay from onset of symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis to initiation of treatment.
A cross-sectional descriptive study of 296 smear-positive tuberculosis patients. Emphasis was given to periods between 1) onset of symptoms and first consultation to a health facility, and 2) reporting to a health facility and initiation of treatment.
Mean total delay was 185 days (median 136), with nearly 90% of this being patient's delay. The mean health system delay was 23 days (median 15), with longer delays in rural health facilities. The mean patient's delay was 162 days (median 120). This delay was significantly longer in rural areas, for patients with lower level of education, for those who first visited a traditional healer, and for patients who had no information on tuberculosis prior to diagnosis. Only 15% of the patients reported to a health facility within 30 days of onset of symptoms.
There are significant delays in case-finding in Mwanza, Tanzania, with prolonged patient's delay. Facilitation of utilisation of health services, raising awareness of the disease and incorporation of private practice into tuberculosis control could help to reduce these delays.
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ABSTRACT: To measure time to initial presentation and assess factors influencing the decision to seek medical attention, we interviewed 243 patients undergoing sputum examination for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) at a rural health centre near Awassa, Ethiopia. A structured questionnaire was used. Median (mean+SD) patient delay was 4.3 (9.8+12.4) weeks. Delays over 4 weeks were significantly associated with rural residence, transport time over 2 h, overnight travel, transport cost exceeding US $1.40, having sold personal assets prior to the visit, and use of traditional medicine. The majority of patients cited economic or logistical barriers to health care when asked directly about causes of delay. Case-finding strategies for TB must be sensitive to patient delay and health systems must become more accessible in rural areas.Tropical Medicine & International Health 05/2005; 10(4):330-5. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2005.01393.x · 2.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We argue that tuberculosis control cannot reach its proposed global targets without investment in an adequate network of accessible, effective and comprehensive health services. Lessons from the past are reviewed. They underscore that passive case-detection and adequate case management is the central technical strategy for tuberculosis control. There is no compelling evidence to support active case-detection in the general population. We elaborate on why a strong health care system is a prerequisite in the framework of case-detection and treatment. The necessity to improve quality and accessibility of general health services for ensuring early detection and subsequent cure is demonstrated. It is argued why the need for strong public health care system becomes even more eminent in the light of the tuberculosis/HIV dual epidemics and of the rapid growth of unregulated private-for-profit services. We finally examine the financial gaps for tuberculosis control and discuss the need for allocating more resources to the strengthening of general health care systems.International Journal of Health Planning and Management 10/2003; 18 Suppl 1:S53-65. DOI:10.1002/hpm.724 · 0.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To assess the costs of tuberculosis at household level in Dar es Salaam and to compare them with the provider costs of the national tuberculosis control programme. Tuberculosis patients were found by active case searching within a routine census in three areas of Dar es Salaam, and by examining records for residents already receiving treatment. Costs at household level were evaluated through a cross-sectional household survey. One hundred and ninety-one tuberculosis cases were included in the survey. With treatment periods of 8 to 12 months, extrapolated average costs of a period of illness to patients and their families were as follows: US 2 dollars for examination and laboratory costs, between US 17 dollars and US 50 dollars for consultation and drugs, less than US 1 dollar for hospitalization and between US 13 dollars and US 20 dollars for transport. The analysis revealed high costs due to inability to work, ranging from US 154 dollars to US 1384 dollars. These data were compared with the operation costs of the tuberculosis programme and proved to comprise 68% to 94% of total costs. For patients and their families, tuberculosis implies three main types of cost: drugs, transportation and, most importantly, financial loss due to inability to work. They represent around two thirds of total cost and are a high economic burden for households, in particular those with a low-income. While assessing tuberculosis control strategies such as direct case finding at home, it is therefore important to also include costs incurred at household level.Tropical Medicine & International Health 02/2001; 6(1):60-8. DOI:10.1046/j.1365-3156.2001.00677.x · 2.30 Impact Factor