Tuberculosis at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital: numbers of patients diagnosed and outcomes of referrals to district clinics

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2005 Apr;9(4):398-402.


Setting: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, in Johannesburg. South Africa is experiencing a serious epidemic of tuberculosis (TB), with a measured rate of 500 cases per 100,000 population. Patients in public hospitals are referred for treatment to district clinics or to specific TB hospitals.

Objectives: To measure numbers of patients diagnosed with TB, and to describe the type of disease and referral outcomes.

Methods: A descriptive study of patients diagnosed with TB in a tertiary hospital. Data in patient files were collected for medical and paediatric patients, and patients were interviewed by researchers who visited clinics to check if referred patients had attended.

Results: In the 8-week study period, 1291 patients were diagnosed with TB: 74% had pulmonary disease and 80% of those tested for HIV were positive; 19% died in hospital, and 21% required transfer to a TB hospital. Only half of the patients referred to clinics attended within 2 weeks.

Conclusions: Patients with advanced TB are commonly seen at this hospital. Notifications were an inadequate record and an unacceptable proportion of patients were lost between hospital and clinics. This study has recommended that opportunities for education and discussion must be provided if patients are to reach clinics successfully.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Public
  • Hospitals, Special*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Patient Compliance
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • South Africa
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis / therapy*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis