n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - The existence of health services delay in TB diagnosis and treatment at rural hospitals in Vhembe district, South Africa

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


In 2012, the high global tuberculosis mortality of 1.4 million was associated with delayed tuberculosis diagnosis and treatments. This study, which was conducted at seven rural hospitals of Vhembe district aimed to investigate the existence of delayed tuberculosis diagnosis and treatments. A combination of both qualitative and quantitative approaches using cross-sectional descriptive design was adopted. Quantitative data was collected though document study, where a total of fifty eight randomly selected files were studied, whereas qualitative data was collected through focus group discussions where 57 purposively selected health care workers were studied. Quantitative data was analyzed by means of excel spread sheet to determine the average time intervals. Qualitative data collected during focus group discussions were analyzed using the open coding based on Tech's criteria described by Creswell. The study discovered an average of 43 hours delay in tuberculosis diagnosis and 45 hours delay in the initiation of appropriate tuberculosis treatments. This delay was accompanied by more than 24 hours delay in sputum acid fast bacilli collection. It was then concluded that considerable delay in tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment exists in rural hospitals of Vhembe district. Thus, the implementation of "on the spot sputum collection and 24 hours sputum turnaround time" was recommended to reduce tuberculosis these delays.

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