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, Oluwatoyin Iyabode Abiola
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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. Clinicbased 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.