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

DOI: 10.1080/23120053.2016.1128139
Author(s): Lindiwe Priscilla CeleNational Health Laboratory Services, South Africa, Stephen KnightSchool of Nursing and Public Health, South Africa, Elize WebbSchool of Health Systems and Public Health, SHSPH, South Africa, Khin TintSAFELTP NICD, South Africa, Thembelihle DlungwaneSchool of Nursing and Public Health, South Africa


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.

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