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Barriers for tuberculosis case finding in Southwest Ethiopia: A qualitative study.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Ethiopia is one of the countries with a high burden of tuberculosis (TB). Jimma Zone has the lowest TB case notification rate compared to the national and World Health Organization's (WHO) targets. The aim of the present study was to identify barriers, and explore the origin of these barriers in relation to TB case finding. METHODS:A qualitative study was conducted by using different data collection methods and sources. Sixty in-depth interviews with TB treatment providers, program managers and TB patients were included. In addition, 42 governmental health facilities were observed for availability of resources. Data obtained from the in-depth interviews were transcribed, coded, categorized and thematized. Atlas.ti version 7.1 software was used for the data coding and categorizing. RESULTS:Inadequate resources for TB case finding, such as a shortage of health-care providers, inadequate basic infrastructure, and inadequate diagnostic equipment and supplies, as well as limited access to TB diagnostic services such as an absence of nearby health facilities providing TB diagnostic services and health system delays in the diagnostic process, were identified as barriers for TB case finding. We identified the absence of trained laboratory professionals in 11, the absence of clean water supply in 13 and the electricity in seven health facilities. Furthermore, we found that difficult topography, the absence of proper roads, an inadequate collaboration with other sectors (such as education), a turnover of laboratory professionals, and a low community mobilization, as the origin of some of these barriers. CONCLUSION:Inadequate resources for TB case finding, and a limited access to diagnostic services, were major challenges affecting TB case finding. The optimal application of the directly observed treatment short course (Stop TB) strategy is crucial to increase the current low TB case notification rate. Practical strategies need to be designed to attract and retain health professionals in the health system.

SUBMITTER: Ereso BM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6939902 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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