The practice of nurses in the prevention of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis at King Cetshwayo district
Mahaye, Theodora Thandile
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Tuberculosis (TB) is South Africa’s greatest community health problem. Nurses have a critical role in supporting patients in the TB treatment process. An estimated 480 000 new cases of Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and 190 000 people died in 2014. An estimated 43 million lives were saved between 2000 and 2014 with effective diagnosis and treatment of TB. Despite these measures TB remains one of the world’s biggest threats. In an attempt to improve the practice of nurses in the prevention of MDR-TB, the knowledge of nurses with regards to the prevention of MDR-TB is essential. Aim of the Study The aim of the study was to describe the practice of the nurses in the prevention of MDR-TB and to determine whether the practice was effective in the prevention of MDR-TB. Methodology Quantitative, descriptive survey was used to conduct the study. Purposive sampling method was employed to select six primary health care clinics at uThungulu District. The target population consisted of professional nurses and enrolled nurses working in these clinics. The sample size was 122. The questionnaire was used to collect data. Descriptive statistics was used to describe the data graphically. In order to test for significant trends in the data, inferential statistics were applied. Results The findings of the study revealed that nurses were implementing measures of preventing MDR-TB like tracing of patients who interrupted TB treatment although there were inconsistencies with implementation of other measures. There were gaps related to attendance of TB courses by TB staff. Nurses were working in an overcrowded environment where it was difficult to implement measures for preventing MDR-TB. There was an increase in the workload due to the high number of patients having TB. Conclusion In this study, the majority of nurses working in primary health care clinics scored well in infection control measures with regard to practicing cough hygiene, placing patients in a well-ventilated area, collection of sputum from patients suspected of having TB and giving of health education to patients with TB and relatives but there areas that need improvement. The findings indicate knowledge gap with regard to TB. There is a need for attendance of short courses in TB, increase of staff attending to TB patients so as to cope with the workload and efficient allocation of resources.