Referring TB suspects from private pharmacies to the National Tuberculosis Programme: experiences from two districts in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Abstract:SETTING: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
OBJECTIVE: To describe pharmacists' attitudes towards referring TB suspects to the National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) and to evaluate the feasibility of a new referral system.
METHODS: 1) Questionnaire survey of 150 private pharmacies; 2) qualitative interviews with 16 pharmacists; 3) monitoring the use of new referral forms for 21 months.
RESULTS: Use of a simple referral form was thought to be manageable by 72% of the pharmacists. Pharmacists identified a number of different types of risks associated with referral of TB suspects to the NTP; clients could turn to another pharmacy (61% of respondents); criticise the pharmacist if it appears that they do not have TB (42%); or remain untreated because they are not able to visit the NTP (41%). Fifty-eight (39%) of eligible pharmacies referred at least one client. At least 373 suspects were referred, 149 were tested and 10 had TB.
CONCLUSIONS: It is feasible to let pharmacies refer TB suspects. For there to be a significant impact on case detection, it is important to acknowledge a number of concerns expressed by pharmacists and attempt to change both clients' and providers' expectations with regard to the pharmacists' role.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Department of Social Medicine, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden; and Nordic School of Public Health, Göteborg, Sweden 2: Nordic School of Public Health, Göteborg, Sweden 3: Pham Ngoc Thach TB and Lung Disease Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Publication date: 2003-12-01
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