An exploration of how treatment interruption and default affects Tuberculosis (TB) patients in Oshakati district, Oshana region, Namibia

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The main aim of the study was to explore and study, in order to understand the lived experience of TB patients whose treatment was interrupted and those who default the TB treatment. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium. The research project explored the treatment interruption and default among the TB patients in Oshakati District, Oshana Region in Namibia. A person can become infected with tuberculosis bacteria when he/she inhales particles of infected sputum from the air. The bacteria get into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, shouts or spits. Therefore, a person who is nearby an infected person can then possibly inhale the bacteria into the lungs. The treatment of TB can last from 6 to 24 months. Due to the length of the treatment, people might be tempted to stop taking medication as soon as they start feeling better, and may therefore defaults from treatment. In the current study, ten (10) respondents both male and female were interviewed by the researcher with the use of semi-structured interview schedule. Purposive sampling technique was used in this qualitative study which utilised a phenomenological research design. By providing an in-depth exploration of the experience of being a TB patient, the study contributes to knowledge that can be used to establish a patient centred intervention to improve treatment adherence and reduce global disease burden that is attributed to TB. Furthermore, the findings of this study will be used by health care providers and policy makers to design and deliver services to TB patients in Namibia. The findings can be used to broaden people’s understanding on the importance of completion of the TB treatment as well.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Social Work
Treatment default, Tuberculosis, Treatment adherence