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Free Content Access and adhering to tuberculosis treatment: barriers faced by patients and communities in Burkina Faso

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SETTING: Three selected districts in Burkina Faso.

OBJECTIVES: 1) To explore patients' and community members' perceptions and problems associated with accessing formal tuberculosis (TB) treatment; and 2) to identify patients' and community members' perceptions and problems associated with adhering to formal TB treatment.

METHODS: Twenty-eight focus group discussions and 68 in-depth interviews with TB patients, community representatives, members of the health centre management committee, traditional healers and health professionals.

RESULTS: Attending the health centre was the last resort for patients with symptoms indicative of TB. When on treatment, patients faced a number of barriers in adhering to care. These related to the centralised nature of direct observation and the problems faced whilst at the treatment unit.

CONCLUSION: Patients experience three sets of inextricably linked barriers to successfully treating TB: attending the health centre initially, attending the health centre repeatedly and experiences whilst at the health centre. These barriers are further complicated by geography, poverty and gender. The challenge ahead lies in moving beyond documenting barriers from patients' perspectives to addressing them in resource-poor contexts.

Keywords: Burkina Faso; access; adherence; barriers; community

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 2: EQUI TB, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom 3: Ecole de Santé Publique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

Publication date: December 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • 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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