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Factors Associated With Defaulting In Tuberculosis Treatment In Northwestern Ethiopia

Azene Dessie Mengistu


Setting: Three rural health centers serving a population of 700,000 People in North western Ethiopia .

Objective: To determine the rate of TB treatment interruption and to assess potential factors that made TB patients interrupt (default) their treatment in rural Ethiopia.

Design :A case – control study was conducted and the medical records of 1158 tuberculosis patients of all forms registered during a one –year period from July 1998 to June 1999 were reviewed. All defaulters (cases) were considered and a sample of non-defaulters (controls) were interviewed.

Results: The overall rate of TB treatment interruption was found to 10.7% (compliance rate, 89.3%) .The rate of defaulting was higher in TB patients treated with long course chemo therapy (LCC)(P<0.05). Among all the defaulters successfully traced, half of them were found dead. Most of the treatment interruption occurred during the second and third moths of treatment and the majority of patients interrupted their treatment during the months of December through February.

Conclusion: Investigation of the role of HIV infection as a direct or indirect cause of treatment interruption in TB patients is highly recommended in the study area.

Key words: Tuberculosis ;Treatment interruption (defaulting) ;Awi Zone; Ethiopia.

[J Ethiop Med Pract,2001;3(1): 24-28]

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eISSN: 1560-1560