On-line version ISSN 0379-8577
LUHAIIMA, TR; NETSHANDAMA, VO and DAVHANA-MASELESELE, M. An evaluation of the implementation of tuberculosis policies at a regional hospital in the Limpopo Province. Curationis [online]. 2008, vol.31, n.4, pp. 31-38. ISSN 0379-8577.
The current rate of tuberculosis infections as a result of new infections, as well as reinfections of patients is of concern to the disease control and policy-making bodies of South Africa. Questions regarding the effectiveness of tuberculosis policies and programmes emerge all the time. This study intended to evaluate the extent to which tuberculosis policies are implemented in a regional hospital in the Vhembe district in the Limpopo Province. The study was conducted using a qualitative, descriptive, exploratory and contextual design. A purposive sample of professional nurses who work in medical wards was selected, and voluntary participation was ensured. Data was collected through individual interviews, which were audiotaped and then transcribed verbatim. The researcher used an observation checklist to find out which policies were available and accessible that dealt with the management of tuberculosis. Findings revealed that tuberculosis policies were not available in the medical wards and not accessible on shelves. Participants expressed lack of knowledge about the existing tuberculosis policies. Lack of information was attributed to insufficient policy information dissemination associated with lack of in-service training and reporting mechanisms after workshops. Shortage of treatment was also indicated as a deterrent to effective policy implementation. The conclusion was reached, based on the findings of the research, that unless there was ongoing monitoring and evaluation of tuberculosis policies at local clinic level, including hospital level, tuberculosis policies would continue to be talked about at a broader (global) level without the focus on implementation at grassroots level. Strategies should be put in place to encourage professional nurses' ownership of policies.
Keywords : Evaluation; Policies; Professional Nurses; Tuberculosis.