University of Venda, South Africa
Title: The management of health care workers’ latent tuberculosis infection at hospitals of Vhembe district
Takalani G Tshitangano is a lecturer in the Department of Public Health, School of Health Sciences, University of Venda. She is an emerging researcher with 23 years of public service experience in various fields. She has published eleven papers in peer reviewed accredited journals. She reviews manuscripts for Curationis South African peer reviewed Journal. She is actively engaged in research projects in partnership with Vhembe district. Her specific areas of expertise and interests include health promotion in communities and schools, infection control, management of chronic lifestyle diseases, control of communicable diseases such TB and HIV; and general management.
Background: Tuberculosis is a major occupational hazard in low and middle-income countries. Health care workers are frequently exposed to infectious tuberculosis patients and are likely to be infected and suffer from latent tuberculosis infection. This study investigated practices of managing health care workers’ latent tuberculosis infection at hospitals. Methods: A qualitative approach using cross-sectional descriptive case study design was adopted. Purposive sampling was used to select 57 focus group participants. Necessary approval, permission and clearance were obtained. Participants’ rights were respected. Results: The majority of practices for managing health care workers’ latent tuberculosis infection was incorrect and not aligned to the national and international TB infection control standards. Conclusions: The development and implementation of tuberculosis infection control plan as well as training program at hospital level would ensure that practices for managing health care workers’ latent tuberculosis infection has the ability to reduce further chances of acquiring tuberculosis.
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