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Open Access Causes of loss to follow-up from drug-resistant TB treatment in Khayelitsha, South Africa

Patients initiated on drug-resistant TB(DR-TB) treatment in 2019 in Khayelitsha, South Africa, with a loss to follow-up outcome were evaluated to better understand reasons for loss to follow-up and to determine if any had returned to care. Of a total of 187 patients, 28 (15%) were lost to follow-up (LTFU), 24 (86%) of whom were traced: 20/24 (83%) were found when they re-presented to facilities and 8/28 (29%) were linked back to DR-TB care. People with DR-TB continue to seek care even after being LTFU; thus better coordination between different components of the healthcare system are required to re-engage with these patients. Interventions to mitigate the socio-economic challenges of people on DR-TB treatment are needed. Many people who were LTFU and symptomatic were willing to re-engage with DR-TB care, which highlights the importance of for compassionate interventions to welcome them back.

Keywords: lost from care; rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis; socio-economic support; substance use

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Khayelitsha, South Africa 2: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Khayelitsha, South Africa, MSF Southern Africa Medical Unit, Cape Town, South Africa 3: City of Cape Town Department of Health, Eastern Area, Cape Town, South Africa 4: Provincial Government of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa 5: Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Publication date: June 21, 2022

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