Collaboration between the national tuberculosis programme and a non governmental organisation in TB/HIV care at a district level: experience from Tanzania

  • Eliud Wandwalo National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme, Ministry of Health, Tanzania; Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Norway
  • Neema Kapalata National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme, Ministry of Health, Tanzania
  • Edith Tarimo Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Norway; PASADA, Dar es salaam, Tanzania
  • C Brigid Corrigan PASADA, Dar es salaam, Tanzania
  • Odd Morkve Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Norway
Keywords: tuberculosis, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, collaboration, non governmental organisation, Tanzania

Abstract

Background: The increase in tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS patients in many countries in Africa including Tanzania, is outstripping the ability of public health services to cope. This calls for a closer collaboration between tuberculosis programmes and other stakeholders involved in HIV/AIDS care.

Objective: To determine the feasibility of establishing collaboration between the tuberculosis programme and an NGO in TB/ HIV care at a district level in Tanzania.

Methods: Quantitative and qualitative study designs involving TB as well as HIV suspects and patients together with health workers, were conducted between December, 2001 and September, 2002.

Results: A total of 72 patients and 28 key informants were involved. The collaboration was in the following areas; voluntary counselling and testing for HIV, diagnosis and treatment of TB, referral and follow up of patients and suspects, home based care, psychological support and training. Both the tuberculosis programme and NGO benefited from the collaboration. TB case detection among PLWA increased more than three folds and TB treatment was integrated in home based care of NGO. The main barriers identified in this study were; poor communication, poor referral system and lack of knowledge and skills among health staff.

Conclusion: The study has shown that it is possible for a tuberculosis programme and a non governmental organisation to collaborate in TB/HIV care. The study has also identified potential areas of collaboration and barriers that needed to be overcome in order to provide such comprehensive services at a district level.

Key Words: tuberculosis, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, collaboration, non governmental organisation, Tanzania

African Health Sciences Vol.4(2) 2004: 109-114
Published
2004-11-10
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 1680-6905