Original Research

A survey to assess the extent of public-private mix DOTS in the management of tuberculosis in Zambia

Gershom Chongwe, Nathan Kapata, Mwendaweli Maboshe, Charles Michelo, Olusegun Babaniyi
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 7, No 1 | a692 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v7i1.692 | © 2015 Gershom Chongwe, Nathan Kapata, Mwendaweli Maboshe, Charles Michelo, Olusegun Babaniyi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 March 2014 | Published: 27 March 2015

About the author(s)

Gershom Chongwe, University of Zambia, School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Zambia
Nathan Kapata, Ministry of Health, National TB/Leprosy Control Program, Zambia
Mwendaweli Maboshe, World Health Organization Country Office, Zambia
Charles Michelo, University of Zambia, School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Zambia
Olusegun Babaniyi, World Health Organization Country Office, Zambia


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Abstract

Background: Involving all relevant healthcare providers in tuberculosis (TB) management through public-private mix (PPM) approaches is a vital element in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Stop TB Strategy. The control of TB in Zambia is mainly done in the public health sector, despite the high overall incidence rates.

Aim: We conducted a survey to determine the extent of private-sector capacity, participation, practices and adherence to national guidelines in the control of TB.

Setting: This survey was done in the year 2012 in 157 facilities in three provinces of Zambia where approximately 85% of the country’s private health facilities are found.

Methods: We used a structured questionnaire to interview the heads of private health facilities to assess the participation of the private health sector in TB diagnosis, management and prevention activities.

Results: Out of 157 facilities surveyed, 40.5% were from the Copperbelt, 4.4% from Central province and 55.1% from Lusaka province. Only 23.8% of the facilities were able to provide full diagnosis and management of TB patients. Although 47.4% of the facilities reported that they do notify their cases to the National TB control programme, the majority (62.7%) of these facilities did not show evidence of notifications.

Conclusion: Our results show that the majority of the facilities that diagnose and manage TB in the private sector do not report their TB activities to the National TB Control Programme (NTP). There is a need for the NTP to improve collaboration with the private sector with respect to TB control activities and PPM for Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course (DOTS).


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