oa Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases - Measures practised by healthcare workers to prevent tuberculosis transmission at rural hospitals in Vhembe district : original research
The risk of becoming infected with tuberculosis in healthcare settings is increasing daily. Of every 100 hospitalised patients at any given time, seven in developed, and 10 in developing, countries, will acquire at least one infection in a healthcare setting, including tuberculosis. This study assessed measures practised by healthcare workers (HCWs) to prevent tuberculosis transmission at rural hospitals of Vhembe district. A qualitative approach using a cross-sectional descriptive phenomenology design was adopted. Purposive sampling was used to select 57 participants for focus group discussions. The necessary approval, permission and clearance were obtained. Participants' rights were respected. The findings of this study revealed that the majority of tuberculosis infection control measures practised by HCWs were incorrect, and not aligned with national and international tuberculosis infection control standards. It was concluded that the incorrect measures that were practised might increase the risk of HCWs becoming infected with tuberculosis at rural hospitals in Vhembe district. The development and implementation of a tuberculosis infection control plan at hospital level would ensure that tuberculosis infection control measures practised by HCWs at hospitals in Vhembe district would reduce the chance of them acquiring tuberculosis at these hospitals.
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