Tuberculosis in the urban poor settlements in the Philippines

T E Tupasi, S Radhakrishna, M I Quelapio, M L Villa, M L Pascual, A B Rivera, A Sarmiento, V M Co, J N Sarol, G Beltran, J D Legaspi, N V Mangubat, A C Reyes, M Solon, F S Solon, L Burton, M J Mantala
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2000, 4 (1): 4-11

SETTING: Urban poor settlements in the Philippines.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the magnitude of the tuberculosis problem in urban poor settlements in comparison with urban areas studied in the Nationwide Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHOD: A multistage cluster survey of BCG scar, tuberculin test, chest radiography and sputum examination for bacillary disease, in urban poor areas.

RESULTS: The prevalences of culture-positive and smear-positive tuberculosis were 17.5 +/- 2.3 (95% CI 13.3-22.4) and 7.9 +/- 2.3 per thousand (95% CI 2.611.5), respectively. Extrapolated to the total population, the rates in the urban poor settlements were 12.4 +/- 1.7 (95% CI 9.6-16.2) and 5.6 +/- 1.6 per thousand population (95% CI 1.3-8.3), respectively. The prevalence of active pulmonary tuberculosis in subjects aged 10 years or more was 66 +/- 5.6/1000 (95% CI 55-77). The BCG vaccination rate was 72%. The overall prevalence of tuberculosis infection was 66%, and 39% in those aged 5-9 years, corresponding to an annual risk of infection (ARI) of 6.5%.

CONCLUSION: The problem of tuberculosis was substantial in the urban poor settlements, and was appreciably worse than that in the general urban population.

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