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Despite the large number of tuberculosis (TB) patients treated in South Africa (SA), there are few descriptions in the published literature of drug-susceptible TB patient characteristics, mode of diagnosis or treatment outcomes in routine public sector treatment programmes.To enhance the evidence base for public sector TB treatment service delivery, we reported the characteristics of and outcomes for a retrospective cohort of adult TB patients at public sector clinics in the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality (JHB), SA.We collected medical record data for a retrospective cohort of adult (≥18 years) TB patients registered between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012 at three public sector clinics in JHB. Data were abstracted from National TB Programme clinic cards and the TB case registers routinely maintained at study sites. We report patient characteristics, mode of diagnosis, mode of treatment supervision, treatment characteristics, HIV status and treatment outcomes for this cohort.A total of 544 patients were enrolled in the cohort. Most (86%) were new TB cases, 81% had pulmonary TB, 58% were smear-positive at treatment initiation and 71% were HIV co-infected. Among 495 patients with treatment outcomes reported, 80% (n=394) had successful outcomes, 11% (n=55) were lost to follow-up, 8% (n=40) died and 1% (n=6) failed treatment.Primary healthcare clinics in JHB are achieving relatively high rates of success in treating drug-susceptible TB. Missing laboratory results were common, including follow-up smears, cultures and drug susceptibility tests, making it difficult to assess adherence to guidelines and leaving scope for substantial improvements in record-keeping at the clinics involved.

Original publication




Journal article


South African medical journal = Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir geneeskunde

Publication Date





1002 - 1009


Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.