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Free Content Combating tuberculosis: barriers to widespread non-governmental organisation involvement in community-based tuberculosis treatment in South Africa

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OBJECTIVES: To explore barriers to indigenous non-governmental organisation (NGO) involvement in community-based tuberculosis treatment delivery in high incidence areas.

DESIGN: Qualitative study comprising in-depth interviews with key informants in non-government organisations and the formal health sector. Participant observation and documentary review methods were also employed.

SETTING: Six non-governmental organisations involved in community-based tuberculosis care delivery in South Africa.

SUBJECTS: Directors and Programme Managers of organisations and formal health sector personnel involved in tuberculosis control.

RESULTS: Four major barriers were identified. Lack of adequate funding was the central issue linked to most of the other barriers identified, which included lack of adequate collaboration, competition, and a paucity of human resources.

CONCLUSIONS: While indigenous non-governmental organisations face significant barriers to involvement in TB care delivery, on their part there is a need for closer collaboration of efforts as well as a more rigorous approach towards monitoring and evaluation of their contribution in order to fully realise their potential. Government and other external funders also need to increase their commitment to ensuring greater participation of these organisations in high TB incidence areas.

Keywords: community-based treatment; non-governmental organisations; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford University, Oxford, UK 2: Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa

Publication date: August 1, 2002

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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