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Late Commencement of Anti-Tuberculosis Drugs in Three Directly Observed Treatment Short Course Centres in Benue State Nigeria: A Neglected Correlate of Tuberculosis Management

DOI: 10.4236/jtr.2017.52011, PP. 95-105

Keywords: Tuberculosis, Treatment, Late Commencement, Outcomes

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Background: Most researches on the correlate of Tuberculosis (TB) treatment outcomes place emphasis on sociodemographic characteristics of the patients, Human Immunodeficiency Virus status and CD4+ count of patients and nutrition among others. This study assessed the effect of delay in commencement of anti-TB regimen on the treatment outcomes of all Tuberculosis patients treated between 2011 and 2014 in three directly observed treatment short course centres in Benue State, Nigeria. Methodology: A retrospective cohort study with convenient sampling technique was used for all registered Tuberculosis patients enrolled for treatment within the reviewed period. Chi-square (χ2) test was used for test of association between the independent variables and the main outcomes of the study, with statistical significance set at p-value of 5%. Results: Of the total 1711 cases reviewed, the males to females ratio was 3.9:1. The mean age for the males’ patients was 39.0 ± 15.3 years and the females 33.7 ± 14.2 years. Majority of the patients were new pulmonary Tuberculosis cases and they commenced their treatment after 3 weeks of diagnosis. Higher failure and death rate were reported amongst the patients who commenced their treatment late (78.7% and 42.5% respectively). The relationship between the treatment outcome and the time of commencement of anti-TB drug regimen was statistically significant (p < 0.005). Conclusions: Commencement of anti-TB drugs in all diagnosed Tuberculosis patients is an important correlate that must be addressed in order to achieve the global goal of reducing Tuberculosis prevalence to the level at which it will no longer constitute a public health problem in Nigeria.


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