Original Research

High level of initial default among smear positive pulmonary tuberculosis in eThekwini health district, KwaZulu-Natal

Lindiwe P. Cele, Stephen Knight, Elize Webb, Khin Tint, Thembelihle Dlungwane
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases | Vol 31, No 2 | a88 | | © 2019 Lindiwe P. Cele, Stephen Knight, Elize Webb, Khin Tint, Thembelihle Dlungwane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 May 2019 | Published: 01 July 2016

About the author(s)

Lindiwe P. Cele, National Health Laboratory Services, Durban, South Africa
Stephen Knight, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Elize Webb, School of Health Systems and Public Health, SHSPH, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Khin Tint, SAFELTP NICD, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Thembelihle Dlungwane, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Abstract

In this study, initial tuberculosis (TB) default was measured in clinics in a district with a high incidence of TB. A retrospective review of TB case identification registers in 2007 found 4049 (9.0%) new smear positive pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) cases from 44 987 suspects. There were 725 (17.9%) initial defaulters. Fifty-three percent of those traced had already died. TB is the leading cause of death in South Africa due to an infectious disease, and the high level of initial defaults in PTB is one of the “unresolved issues” in TB control programmes that needs to be addressed.

Keywords

initial default; KwaZulu-Natal; tuberculosis; turnaround time for sputum smear microscopy

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