Contribution of traditional healers to a rural tuberculosis control programme in Hlabisa, South Africa

Colvin, M., Gumede, L., Grimwade, K., Maher, D. and Wilkinson, D. (2003) Contribution of traditional healers to a rural tuberculosis control programme in Hlabisa, South Africa. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 7 Supp. 1: S86-S91.

Author Colvin, M.
Gumede, L.
Grimwade, K.
Maher, D.
Wilkinson, D.
Title Contribution of traditional healers to a rural tuberculosis control programme in Hlabisa, South Africa
Journal name International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1027-3719
Publication date 2003-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 7
Issue Supp. 1
Start page S86
End page S91
Total pages 6
Place of publication Paris
Publisher Int Union Against Tuberculosis Lung Disease (i U A T L D)
Language eng
Subject 1103 Clinical Sciences
Formatted abstract
SETTING: The rural health district of Hlabisa, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the acceptability and effectiveness of traditional healers as supervisors of tuberculosis (TB) treatment in an existing directly observed treatment, short-course (DOTS) programme.

DESIGN: An observational study comparing treatment outcomes among new TB patients in the three intervention sub-districts offered the additional option of traditional healers for directly observed treatment (DOT) supervision with those in the remainder of the district offered the standard range of options for DOT supervision (health facility, community health worker and lay persons). A comparison was also made of treatment outcomes between different options for DOT supervision.

RESULTS: A total of 3461 TB patients were registered in Hlabisa District from April 1999 to December 2000, of whom 2823 were discharged from hospital to the ambulatory DOT programme. Treatment outcomes were known for 1816 patients in Hlabisa District (275 patients in the intervention area and 1541 patients in the control area). There was no significant difference (P < 0.5) in treatment outcome in the intervention and control areas (77% vs. 75%). Among 275 patients with known outcomes in the intervention area, 48 patients were supervised by traditional healers and 227 patients supervised by people other than traditional healers. Treatment completion was not significantly higher among patients supervised by traditional healers than among patients supervised by other categories of DOT supervisor (88% vs. 75%, P = 0.3841). Interviews with 41 of 51 traditional healer patients who had completed treatment revealed high levels of satisfaction with the care received.

CONCLUSIONS: Traditional healers make an effective contribution to TB programme performance in this pilot scheme in Hlabisa district. Further evaluation will be necessary as this approach is scaled up.
Keyword Infectious Diseases
Respiratory System
Treatment Outcomes
Community Care
Traditional Healers
Hiv Epidemic
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 23:47:14 EST