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SETTING: Government-funded public health clinics in and around Gaborone, Botswana.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the challenges faced by care givers of children on treatment for tuberculosis (TB) to inform a more child-friendly approach to Botswana's National TB Programme (NTP) strategy.
DESIGN: Qualitative study using 28 in-depth interviews with care givers of children receiving anti-tuberculosis treatment.
RESULTS: Care givers identified five main challenges: long delays in their child's diagnosis, difficulty attending clinic for daily treatment, difficulty administering TB medications, stock-outs of TB medications leading to treatment interruptions, and inadequate TB education. Care givers prioritized these same five areas to improve the overall management of their child's TB.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that despite accessing care through an NTP that adheres to World Health Organization guidelines, care givers for children on treatment in Botswana continue to encounter significant challenges. While each of these represents a potential threat to successful treatment, they can be addressed with relatively small systematic and programmatic adjustments. These results will inform the next version of the Botswana NTP guidelines towards a more child- and care giver-centered approach.