A national infection control evaluation of drug-resistant tuberculosis hospitals in South Africa

Jason E. Farley, C. Tudor, M. Mphahlele, K. Franz, N. A. Perrin, S. Dorman, M. Van Der Walt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: The importance of infection control (IC) in health care settings with tuberculosis (TB) patients has been highlighted by recent health care-associated outbreaks in South Africa. OBJECTIVE: To conduct operational evaluations of IC in drug-resistant TB settings at a national level. METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted from June to September 2009 in all multidrugresistant (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) facilities in South Africa. Structured interviews with key informants were completed, along with observation of IC practices. Health care workers (HCWs) were asked to complete an anonymous knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) questionnaire. Multilevel modeling was used to take into consideration the relationship between center and HCW level variables. RESULTS: Twenty-four M(X)DR-TB facilities (100%) were enrolled. Facility infrastructure and staff adherence to IC recommendations were highly varied between facilities. Key informant interviews were incongruent with direct observation of practices in all settings. A total of 499 HCWs were enrolled in the KAP evaluation. Higher level of clinical training was associated with greater IC knowledge (P < 0.001), more appropriate attitudes (P < 0.001) and less time spent with coughing patients (P < 0.001). IC practices were poor across all disciplines. CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate a clear need to improve and standardize IC infrastructure in drugr esistant TB settings in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-89
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Infection control
  • MDR-TB
  • South Africa
  • XDR-TB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases

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