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East Mediterr Health J. 2003 Jul;9(4):776-88.

Do private doctors follow national guidelines for managing pulmonary tuberculosis in Pakistan?

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National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.


As private medical practitioners play a major role of in providing care to pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients, a survey was made of knowledge and practice in 2 cities in Pakistan. Only 1 of the 245 physicians was aware that cough > 3 weeks alone is the main symptom suggesting pulmonary TB. The majority diagnosed (80%) and treated (83%) cases themselves without referral. Less than 1% relied on sputum microscopy alone for diagnosis. None of the practitioners were following National TB Control guidelines for prescribing drugs and none ensured compliance with anti-TB treatment under supervision of a doctor/health worker. Only 3% kept records of pulmonary TB patients. None of the physicians assessed the effectiveness of treatment with sputum microscopy alone; the majority (76%) used only clinical assessment.

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