Primary health care staff's perception of childhood tuberculosis: A qualitative study fra Tanzania

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Diagnosing tuberculosis in children remains a great challenge in developing countries. Health staff working in the front line of the health service delivery system has a major responsibility for timely identification and referral of suspected cases of childhood tuberculosis. This study explored primary health care staff’s perception, challenges and needs pertaining to the identification of children with tuberculosis in Muheza district in Tanzania.

Methods: We conducted a qualitative study that included 13 semi-structured interviews and 3 focus group discussions with a total of 29 health staff purposively sampled from primary health care facilities. Analysis was
performed in accordance with the principles of a phenomenological analysis.

Results: Primary health care staff perceived childhood tuberculosis to be uncommon in the society and tuberculosis was rarely considered as a likely differential diagnosis. Long duration and severe signs of disease
together with known exposure to tuberculosis were decisive for the staff to suspect tuberculosis in children and refer them to hospital. None of the staff felt equipped to identify cases of childhood tuberculosis and they experienced lack of knowledge, applicable tools and guidelines as the main challenges. They expressed the need for more training, supervision and referral feedback to improving case identification.
Translated title of the contributionPrimær sundhedsmedarbejderes opfattelse af tuberkulose i børn: Et kvalitativt studie
Original languageEnglish
JournalB M C Health Services Research
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

ID: 37983339