Management outcome of pulmonary tuberculosis: a nine year review in Ilorin

A K Salami, P O Oluboyo
West African Journal of Medicine 2003, 22 (2): 114-9

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates the management outcome of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) over a nine year period. Essentially the cure rate, rate of default and fatality rate were all estimated. Factors predisposing to poor drug compliance were also reviewed.

METHODS: This was conducted by analysing the medical records of all newly diagnosed cases of PTB. Patients' demographic data, their social and past medical histories were obtained from their records. The extents of the lung lesions were determined from their chest X-rays. Criteria were set to define those that were (a) cured, (b) defaulted (c) transferred (d) had treatment failure and (e) died. The chi-square test of significance was used to estimate the difference between those that were cured and those that defaulted therapy. Multiple regression models were used to determine the level of interplay among the various factors contributing to patients' poor therapy compliance; the best of these was recorded.

RESULTS: Out of the 1,741 cases of PTB treated over the studied period, 43.7% were cured, 0.3% had treatment failure, 44.2% defaulted therapy, 0.2% were transferred to other treatment centers while a fatality rate of 11.6% was recorded. Male gender, old age (> or =) 65 years), unmarried status, and previous default from therapy were found associated with poor therapy compliance. Others were unemployment, cigarette smoking and the use of alcohol.

CONCLUSION: The cure rate of PTB in this study was very low, while the rate of default from therapy was quite high. These are in contrast to WHO target for TB control. To improve on these, directly observed therapy short course (DOTS) strategy for treating TB has to be adopted and implemented at all our treatment points for PTB. There should be emphasis on the Primary health Care (PHC) centers, because majority of PTB patients are grass root people and PHC set-ups are closer to them.

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