Research Article

Case holding in patients with tuberculosis in Botswana.

BMJ 1992; 305 doi: (Published 08 August 1992) Cite this as: BMJ 1992;305:340
  1. J. A. Kumaresan,
  2. E. T. Maganu
  1. Community Health Services Division, Epidemiology Unit, Gaborone, Botswana.


    OBJECTIVE--To evaluate the effectiveness of daily supervised short course chemotherapy in a national tuberculosis programme. DESIGN--Observation of programme during 1984-90. In October 1986 short course chemotherapy was introduced with patients receiving treatment daily from staff in their nearest health facility. SETTING--Botswana national tuberculosis programme. SUBJECTS--All patients with tuberculosis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Proportions of patients complying with and defaulting from treatment (missing > or = 43 days' treatment). RESULTS--2938 cases of tuberculosis were recorded in 1990, 1528 of which were of sputum positive pulmonary disease. 2711 (92.3%) patients complied with treatment and 227 (7.7%) defaulted. Before introduction of short course chemotherapy compliance was about 60% compared with over 90% in 1987-90. CONCLUSIONS--A programme using daily supervised short course chemotherapy integrated into the primary health care system is an effective method of treating tuberculosis. The costs of the programme need to be evaluated.