Practices of Tuberculosis sputum specimen collection at resource-limited hospitals in Vhembe district, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Individuals identified as Tuberculosis (TB) suspects must have their sputum examined to determine whether they are infected with TB or not, prior to the commencement of their treatments. In order to accomplish this, TB suspects are required to cough out sputum specimen for microscopy test, namely, Acid Fast Bacilli. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe practices of TB sputum specimen collection at resource-limited hospitals of Vhembe district, Limpopo Province. A qualitative approach, using cross-sectional descriptive design was adopted to conduct the study at seven hospitals of Vhembe district in Limpopo province. A non-probability, purposive sampling method was used to select 57 participants. The approval to conduct the study was obtained from relevant authorities and written informed consent from participants. Unstructured interview guide was used to collect data through seven focus group discussions comprising of five to ten participants. Open coding method was used to analyse data. Trustworthiness was ensured through the Lincoln and Guba’s criteria. Practices of TB sputum collection in the participating hospital were varying in terms of the number to collect, times of collecting, precautions to consider during collection and the place used when collecting sputum. Hospitals should adhere strictly to the implementation of World Health Organisation’s policy on infection control in health care facilities.
Keywords: Practices of sputum specimen collection, number of sputum specimen, time of sputum specimen collection, place of sputum specimen collection.
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