Preventing tuberculosis among health workers in Malawi


Harries, AD; Hargreaves, NJ; Gausi, F; Kwanjana, JH; Salaniponi, FM; (2002) Preventing tuberculosis among health workers in Malawi. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 80 (7). pp. 526-31. ISSN 0042-9686

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Following the introduction of guidelines for the control of tuberculosis (TB) infection in all hospitals in Malawi, a study was carried out to determine whether the guidelines were being implemented, the time between admission to hospital and the diagnosis of pulmonary TB had been reduced, and the annual case notification rates among health workers had fallen and were comparable to those of primary-school teachers. METHODS: The study involved 40 district and mission hospitals. Staff and patients were interviewed in order to determine whether the guidelines had been adopted. In four hospitals the diagnostic process in patients with smear-positive pulmonary TB was evaluated before and after the introduction of the guidelines, with the aid of case notes and TB registers. In all hospitals the proportion of health workers registered with TB before and after the guidelines were introduced, in 1996 and 1999, respectively, was determined by conducting interviews and consulting staff lists and TB registers. A similar method was used to determine the proportion of primary-school teachers who were registered with TB in 1999. FINDINGS: The guidelines were not uniformly implemented. Only one hospital introduced voluntary counselling and testing for its staff. Most hospitals stated that they used rapid systems to diagnose pulmonary TB. However, there was no significant change in the interval between admission and diagnosis or between admission and treatment of patients with smear-positive pulmonary TB. The TB case notification rate for 2979 health workers in 1999 was 3.2%; this did not differ significantly from the value of 3.7% for 2697 health workers in 1996 but was significantly higher than that of 1.8% for 4367 primary-school teachers in 1999. CONCLUSION: The introduction of guidelines for the control of TB infection is an important intervention for reducing nosocomial transmission of the disease, but rigorous monitoring and follow-up are needed in order to ensure that they are implemented.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adolescent, Adult, Age Distribution, Developing Countries, Disease Notification, Female, Guideline Adherence, Hospitals, District, Hospitals, Private, Humans, Infection Control, Malawi, Male, Middle Aged, Missions and Missionaries, Occupational Diseases, Patient Admission, Personnel, Hospital, Practice Guidelines, Registries, Sex Distribution, Tuberculosis, Pulmonary, Adolescent, Adult, Age Distribution, Developing Countries, Disease Notification, Female, Guideline Adherence, statistics & numerical data, Hospitals, District, Hospitals, Private, Humans, Infection Control, standards, statistics & numerical data, Malawi, epidemiology, Male, Middle Aged, Missions and Missionaries, Occupational Diseases, diagnosis, epidemiology, prevention & control, Patient Admission, Personnel, Hospital, standards, statistics & numerical data, Practice Guidelines, Registries, Sex Distribution, Tuberculosis, Pulmonary, diagnosis, epidemiology, prevention & control
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
PubMed ID: 12163915
Web of Science ID: 176911400002
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/8904

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