The Western Cape has enjoyed great success in treating – outside hospitals – patients suffering from multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Traditionally, TB patients are hospitalised in special units or at dedicated TB hospitals and have to undergo rigorous treatment and, effectively, quarantine.
Working with Doctors Without Borders, the provincial health department started treating MDR-TB patients at all its Khayelitsha clinics in 2007 as part of a three-year pilot project.
...Dr Jennifer Hughes, who presented the pilot project findings to delegates at the conference, said: “Findings showed that initiating MDR-TB patients at clinics led to an almost 70% increase in the number of patients started on treatment between 2007 and 2010.
“It also showed that by decentralising care and treatment, patients were able to start treatment a month earlier than they would in a specialised hospital.”
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