Implementation and outcomes of an active defaulter tracing system for HIV, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), and TB patients in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya.
AffiliationMédecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Operational Centre Brussels, PO BOX 38897 Postal Code 00623, Parklands, Nairobi, Kenya.
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AbstractRetention of patients in long term care and adherence to treatment regimens are a constant challenge for HIV, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), and TB programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. This study describes the implementation and outcomes of an active defaulter tracing system used to reduce loss to follow-up (LTFU) among HIV, PMTCT, TB, and HIV/TB co-infected patients receiving treatment at three Médecins Sans Frontières clinics in the informal settlement of Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya. Patients are routinely contacted by a social worker via telephone, in-person visit, or both very soon after they miss an appointment. Patient outcomes identified through 1066 tracing activities conducted between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009 included: 59.4% returned to the clinic, 9.0% unable to return to clinic, 6.3% died, 4.7% refused to return to clinic, 4.5% went to a different clinic, and 0.8% were hospitalized. Fifteen percent of patients identified for tracing could not be contacted. LTFU among all HIV patients decreased from 21.2% in 2006 to 11.5% in 2009. An active defaulter tracing system is feasible in a resource poor setting, solicits feedback from patients, retains a mobile population of patients in care, and reduces LTFU among HIV, PMTCT, and TB patients.