The use of guidelines for lower respiratory tract infections in Tanzania: A lesson from Kilimanjaro clinicians

B Mbwele, A Slot, Q De Mast, P Kweka, M Msuya, M Hulscher
Publication year: 

Background: Evaluations of the guidelines for the management of Lower Respiratory Tract Infections (LRTI) Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Tanzania is scant. 

Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the usefulness of the current Tanzanian treatment guideline for the management lower respiratory tract infection. 

Subjects and Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study in 11 hospitals of different levels in the Kilimanjaro region Data were collected from May 2012 to July 2012 by semi-structured interview for clinicians using 2 dummy cases for practical assessment. Data were analyzed by STATA v11 (StataCorp, TX, USA). Qualitative narratives from the interviews were translated, transcribed then coded by colors into meaningful themes. 

Results: A variety of principles for diagnosing and managing LRTI were demonstrated by 53 clinicians of Kilimanjaro. For the awareness, 67.9% (36/53) clinicians knew their responsibility to use Standard Treatment Guideline for managing LRTI. The content derived from Standard Treatment Guideline could be cited by 11.3% of clinicians (6/53) however they all showed concern of gaps in the guideline. Previous training in the management of patients with LRTI was reported by 25.9% (14/53), majority were pulmonary TB related. Correct microorganisms causing different forms of LRTI were mentioned by 11.3% (6/53). Exact cause of Atypical pneumonia and Q fever as an example was stated by 13.0% (7/53) from whom the need of developing the guideline for LRTI was explicitly elaborated. 

Conclusion: The current guidelines have not been used effectively for the management of LRTI in Tanzania.There is a need to review its content for the current practical use.