An assessment of current practice patterns of TB/HIV at primary healthcare clinics in the Western Cape and a needs assessment for clinic-based training among final year pharmacy students
Tokosi, Abiola Oluwatoyin Iyabode
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Tuberculosis (TB) is a major contributor to the disease burden in developing countries resulting in deaths of approximately 2 million people a year. South Africa (SA) has one of the highest annual TB incidences with an estimate of 558 per 100 000 population (2003) and the situation shows no sign of abating. TB remains the most common opportunistic infection and cause of death amongst HIV- infected patients. Both TB and HIV treatment depend exclusively on multi-drug regimens that require close monitoring among health care professionals. With increasing workload due to staff shortage and high patient load, the quality of care in nurse-led primary care clinics maybe compromised. Existing clinic staff may overlook drug-drug interactions, side effects and may not be aware of the consequences when a formulation is modified during multi-drug therapy administration. As the custodian of medicines, pharmacists are ideally placed to monitor therapy. Clinic based training programmes which are offered to nurses provide an opportunity to work alongside clinic staff and engage in patient-centered care where the pharmacotherapeutic outcome of TB and HIV drug regimens could be closely monitored. Aims The primary and secondary aims of the study were to: • Assess current practice patterns of TBI/HIV at primary healthcare clinics in the Western Cape, • Assess the need for a clinic-based TBIHIV training among final year pharmacy students in UWC. Objectives To achieve the primary aim the researcher; 1. Conducted a baseline study at Ravensmead Community Health Centre(CHC) to assess current TBIHIV practice among HCP's and co-infected patients, 2. Assessed current practice patterns at Delft South ARV clinic and Elsies River TB clinic (pre-intervention), 3. Designed and implemented a clinic-based TBIHIV intervention tool for potential use by pharmacists at Delft South and Elsies River clinics (intervention phase), 4. Evaluated patient receptivity of the intervention tool amongst patients at Delft South and Elsies River clinics (post-intervention phase). Results and discussion Findings from the baseline study indicate the need for involvement of a trained pharmacist in TB and HIV management. Even though three-quarters (77.8%; 14) of the patients preferred receiving their TB information from the clinic nurse, almost two-thirds (63.2%; 12) of the patients believed that pharmacists assisted with their treatment provision. Patient data obtained from the clinic record card showed that almost two-thirds of the patients reported that they had experienced side effects (64.4%); the therapy of more than one-quarter (26.4%) showed drug-drug interactions and onset of adverse effects (1.1 %). Post-intervention, the data showed that patients' viewed the pharmacist's role more positively. Almost all responses (97.5%; 39) favoured the services of a pharmacist in the clinic. In conclusion, findings from the post-intervention patient study clearly underpin that a clinic-based role for the pharmacist is imminent. All seven (100%) of the experimental students passed the assessment and had marks in the range between 26 and 45 and more than three-quarters (78.4 %; 29) of the control students passed with marks within this range. Conclusion A trained pharmacist would be competent to work alongside nursing staff in optimizing care provision in the clinical management of TB and HIV in patients. The existing clinic based TB/HIV programme could be supplemented with theoretical concepts in the final year of undergraduate pharmacy training.