Tuberculosis is one of the major health tragedies facing South Africa. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of the population of the country are infected with the tuberculosis bacterium and 160 000 South Africans from all walks of life become ill with tuberculosis every year (Department of Health, 1997: 4). An innovative approach is needed to fight the problem of tuberculosis. In view of the important role played by primary health care nurses with regard to the care of patients with tuberculosis, the overall aim of the study is to contribute to an improvement of tuberculosis patient care, inter alia, by attending to the problems pertaining to the provision of tuberculosis patient care at the government clinics in the Qwa-Qwa district of the Free State. The study attempts to describe the difficulties that primary health care nurses at the government clinics in Qwa-Qwa experience in the provision of tuberculosis patient care, and how their attitudes towards patients affect their service. The nurses need to be informed about how their attitudes influence their service. The perceptions of primary health care nurses in this matter are ascertained to assess their personal experience in their routine care of tuberculosis patients. The results of this research study indicate the following obstacles for primary health care nurses to render effective tuberculosis patient care at the government clinics in Qwa-Qwa: · Lack of knowledge, training and skills amongst some of the nurses in the treatment of tuberculosis, · Poor access to tuberculosis information, which include the procedures that protect nurses from tuberculosis infection; · Poor management system for nurses in tuberculosis patient care; · Lack of key health resources related to tuberculosis treatment; · Fear of the consequences of contracting tuberculosis by some of the nurses, and; · Negative attitudes of some nurses towards tuberculosis patients as well as towards their work.
Dissertation (MA (Sociology))--University of Pretoria, 2005.