Environmental tuberculosis control measures at resource-limited hospitals at Vhembe district, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Environmental control methods include natural ventilation, mechanical ventilation as well as upper-room ultraviolet light. The aim of environmental control method is to reduce the concentration of infectious respiratory aerosols (droplet nuclei) in the air, and to control the direction of infectious air. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the status of environmental tuberculosis control measures at hospitals in Vhembe district, Limpopo Province. A quantitative research methodology was adopted. The setting was seven hospitals at Vhembe district, Limpopo Province, South Africa. The sampling approach was non-probability using purposive sampling method targeting only the following; Outpatient Department waiting areas, Outpatient Department sputum collection areas, Outpatient Department examination rooms, TB wards and medical wards. The sample size consisted of five areas/wards in each of the seven hospitals making a total of thirty five areas/wards. Data were collection through observation using a structured checklist. The study found inadequate ventilation at hospitals in Vhembe district, Limpopo province, South Africa. It was recommended that wherever possible waiting areas, sputum collection areas, examination rooms and wards should be opened to the environment.
Keywords: Environmental controls, natural ventilation, mechanical ventilation, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation.