A study on tuberculosis treatment compliance among paediatric patients in Lusaka urban
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Patient non-compliance is a major cause of treatment failure in tuberculosis (TB).The rising prevalence of tuberculosis in adults is expected to be paralleled by a similar rise in children, hi Zambia, no studies have been done looking at compKance issues in children. It is with this back-ground that this study was under-taken, whose objectives were to look at factors which influence comphance with TB treatment among children in Lusaka urban. And at the same time to have an idea of the organisation of the TB comers in the various clinics.The study was a descriptive cross sectional survey which was carried out by use of a questionnaire which had previously fixed response options in order to identify possible factors related to compliance. A check Ust was also filled in after interviewing the health workers at the TB comers looking at overall organisation of the TB comers. This study was carried out in 12 of the 22 clinics in Lusaka urban. All children who had received 75% or more of expected treatment were considered compUant.Overall, comphance was 88.6%.Comparatively lower compUance rates were associated with care-givers who lived far fi-om the health centres, had more than two children below five years in the household, did not think that TB could be cured, sought help elsewhere before bringing the child to the hospital and did not think the health workers were friendly.Some of the "comphanf patients as per study definition were on an incorrect treatment regimen or incorrect dosage for weight.None of the clinics practiced directly observed therapy short course (DOTS) as per WHO definition. The TB comers were being managed by health persormel without specific training on TB management.The findings in this study indicate that compliance with TB treatment in children as defined by this study was good but there is need to look at other aspects of comphance such as dosage for weight and treatment regimen. Operational factors such as distance to the health centres and attitudes of the health personnel need to be assessed. There is also need to improve awareness of TB cause, signs and symptoms, treatment and outcome among care-givers. Community based DOTS is the best option for our environment.