A clinical audit of the implementation of the tuberculosis screening tool amongst clients who are on anti-retroviral therapy in the eThekwini local municipality clinics
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Background : Tuberculosis (TB) is a global public health concern and is identified as the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the population infected with Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV). South Africa (SA), particularly the KwaZulu-Natal Province, is burdened with persistently high rates of both TB and HIV infections. In an attempt to improve TB and HIV co-infection outcomes the South African health care system has adopted the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for intensified TB case findings in all HIV positive individuals for regular screening of TB symptoms in order to promptly diagnose and treat active TB disease or to exclude TB for initiation Isoniazid Prophylactic Therapy (IPT). IPT has proven effective in preventing TB disease in People Living with HIV or AIDS (PLWHA). This critical first step of TB symptom screening is regarded as the intervention that could significantly reduce the challenge currently faced with TB-HIV co-infection. The study was conducted in selected eThekwini Municipality Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities with the focus on an investigation to determine the extent of the implementation of the TB symptom screening tool in HIV infected individuals, in addition to identifying treatment initiation or further investigations based on the tool implementation. It has been found during the literature review, that there is a lack of research in SA to show that this critical first step in TB identification has been investigated, yet one in six South African’s is HIV positive and the incidence of TB-HIV co-infection is not declining. Methodology : A quantitative, descriptive approach was utilised to conduct a retrospective patient chart review. A multistage cluster sampling technique comprising three stages was implemented to identify the sample. There was a random selection of clinics, and the required number of client records was obtained through convenience sampling from the selected clinics. Results : The findings of this study revealed there is inadequate implementation of the current national and provincial TB protocols. The study provides varied levels of information about TB symptom screening in HIV infected individuals in the PHC clinics of eThekwini Municipality. It was observed that Health Care Worker’s (HCW) in some facilities carried out TB symptom screening to an extent. However, the inconsistent and partial application of this screening tool warrants improvement to facilitate the broad success of TB-HIV care strategies.