The Republic of South Africa evaluates tuberculosis surveillance system


South Africa’s National Tuberculosis (TB) Control Programme (NTP) said it recently conducted a surveillance of TB in the country.

To maintain the health of South Africa as a whole, NTP has been conducting TB surveillance since 1995. NTP began to implement its Electronic TB Register (ETR) in 2005.

The purpose of the evaluation is to determine the reliability and completeness of the TB Surveillance System’s data.

The evaluation covered three out of nine provinces, three sub districts for each province, and 54 health facilities that were chosen through stratified random sampling. Each of the facilities had diagnosed 30 or fewer patients in the first quarter of 2009.

The analysts compared patient information from four electronic and two paper sources. Then they used chi-square tests to determine the completeness of the programme’s indicators.

Results showed that 33.7% of all of the people who had presumptive TB from smear positive records within the TB Suspect Register didn’t have any records showing treatment, notification or management of the illness. Also, 80% of the 1339 people who had been TB patients in facilities were documented in all of the data sources.


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