INTRODUCTION : Tuberculosis (TB) is a problem in South Africa. Initial loss to follow up (LTFU) among TB patients is high
varying between 14.9 and 18%. Some of the reasons for this are: lack of proper communication between patient and
staff on next steps after testing, not aware that results are ready; and other competing priorities. Receiving reminder
messages that result is ready is an intervention that can be explored to reduce initial LTFU. This can be through either
receiving a note from the Ward-Based Outreach Teams (WBOTs) or via short message service (SMS) advising the
patient to collect test result at the facility. This proposal aims to assess the effectiveness of WBOTs or SMS technology
in reducing TB initial LTFU.
METHODS : This will be a mixed methods approach. In depth interviews with WBOT Managers and TB Program Managers
will be conducted. Focus group discussions with WBOT members will also be conducted. Two interventions
(enhanced WBOTs/SMS technology) will be tested using a 3 arm randomized controlled trial (standard of care, SMS
technology or enhanced WBOTs). The WBOTs will deliver paper note reminders while SMS intervention will entail
sending reminder SMS messages to patients as soon as TB results are ready.