Home-based Treatment of Childhood Neurotuberculosis

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Abstract

Introduction

In-hospital treatment is widely recognized as the gold standard of treatment for children with neurotuberculosis due to the complexity of care and serious consequences of non-compliance. The continuous rise in the incidence of tuberculosis (TB), fuelled by an HIV-pandemic, has resulted in severe bed shortages in tertiary, secondary and TB hospitals in the Western Cape.

Objective

To evaluate the feasibility of home-based directly observed therapy (DOT) in TBM.

Method

Suitability screening by social workers, in-hospital monitoring of mother–child interaction, medication side effects and intolerance followed by a supervised outpatient surveillance program.

Results

Forty of the 52 children screened were approved for home-based treatment. Thirty-four of these 40 patients (85%) completed TBM treatment successfully at home, and no patient defaulted treatment.

Conclusion

Home-based treatment of childhood neurotuberculosis is feasible in selected patients under close supervision. Mothers could be considered as primary DOT supporters.

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