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Free Content Suspected tuberculosis case detection and referral in private pharmacies in Viet Nam

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Abstract:

SETTINGS: Private pharmacies in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

OBJECTIVES: To explore the response of health care providers (HCPs) in private pharmacies to suspected tuberculosis (TB) patients.

METHODS: A simulated patient method combined with an interview in 128 randomly selected private pharmacies and 10 private pharmacies near TB hospitals.

RESULTS: In the simulated patient method and interview, respectively 59 (46%) and 70 (55%) of HCPs referred the TB suspect to general health care. Only 11 (9%) referred the simulated patient to a TB care facility. Fifty-two (42%) of the HCPs identified suspected TB from a fictitious case described on paper; 34 (27%) were aware that free treatment was provided under the National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP). Knowledge about free NTP treatment predicted a higher rate of direct referrals to TB facilities (OR 5.80, 95%CI 1.88–19.62) and greater ability to identify suspected TB from a fictitious case on paper (OR 5.14, 95%CI 2.36–11.73). Pharmacies with Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP) certification were less likely to refer simulated patients to TB facilities than non-GPP pharmacies (OR 0.10, 95%CI ≤0.01–0.79).

CONCLUSIONS: Nearly half of HCPs in private pharmacies do not refer TB suspects, possibly contributing to delays in diagnosis and treatment. Knowledge about free NTP treatment predicted better performance of HCPs.

Keywords: GPP; NTP; free treatment; simulated patient

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5588/ijtld.12.0295

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pharmacotherapy and Pharmaceutical Care, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands; Hanoi University of Pharmacy, Hanoi, Viet Nam 2: Department of Pharmacotherapy and Pharmaceutical Care, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands 3: Department of Global Health and Amsterdam Institute of Global Health and Development, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 4: Hanoi University of Pharmacy, Hanoi, Viet Nam

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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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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