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East Afr Med J. 2003 Feb;80(2):83-90.

Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of private medical practitioners on tuberculosis among HIV/AIDS patients in Eldoret, Kenya.

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Department of Child Health and Paediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Moi University, PO Box 4600 Eldoret, Kenya.



Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the major communicable diseases afflicting mankind today. Its prevalence is increasing with increase in HIV infection. It is important that doctors be able to correctly diagnose and institute proper management of patients with TB.


To determine the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of private medical practitioners in Eldoret on the management of TB.


Cross-sectional descriptive qualitative study.


Private medical practitioners' clinics and the outpatient departments of private hospitals in Eldoret town, western, Kenya. Eldoret is a cosmopolitan town 350-km north west of Nairobi. It is the main town in the north Rift Valley with such infrastructure as roads, international airport, and banks.


Private medical practitioners in Eldoret.


Fifty three out of 70 private doctors were interviewed. Of these 84.9% were male. Only 5.7% knew that sputum for AAFBs is collected on spot, early morning, and spot, whereas 69.8% and 13.2% said it should be collected on three and six consecutive early mornings respectively. Sputum and chest X-ray were the most common investigations used to diagnose TB. Few doctors knew that the clinical features considered as suspicious for TB in children were failure to thrive (FTT) (20.6%), contact with open TB case (12.8%), and cough for more than two or more weeks (7.8%). Others wrongly considered cough for four or more weeks (9.2%). Features correctly considered of diagnostic value by a few of the private doctors in paediatric TB were: chest X-ray (19.8%), FTT (8.7%), positive sputum for AAFBs (8.7%), and history of contact with TB case (8.7%). A small number of doctors based their diagnosis on chest X-ray (38%), AAFBs (19%), and Keith-Jones criteria (6.3%). There were 16 regimes mentioned and used for the treatment of TB. The NLTP recommended regimes such as 2RHZ/4RH, 2RHZE/6HE, 2RHZ/6HE and 2SHRZE/1RHZE/5HRE, were used by 9(19.6%), 2(4.3%), 0% and 0% of the doctors respectively. The rest used unrecommended regimes and no doctor used the re-treatment regime of 2SHRZE/1RHZE/5RHE. Similar regimes were used for the HIV as for the non-HIV-infected patients. None of the interviewees had appropriate knowledge on all the areas of diagnosis, treatment, case recording, and follow up.


Most doctors were not aware of the correct diagnosis and treatment of TB and many used unrecommended treatment regimes. They were generally unfamiliar with the recording system of TB cases. Most doctors did not know the definitions of the various re-treatment cases. Continuing medical education on clinical management of TB patients is needed for doctors in private practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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