Prevalence of smear positive pulmonary tuberculosis among inmates and staff of Abakaliki Prisons, Nigeria
Introduction: Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB) is one of the major diseases of public health importance especially in prisons where case finding rate has been low. The WHO established five facts of prisons PTB spread which include: Prisons receive TB, Prisons concentrate TB, Prisons disseminate TB, Prisons make TB worse, and Prisons export TB. Poor TB case finding result in annual TB transmission risks of 90%. This study determined the prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis among inmates and staff of Nigerian Prisons, Abakaliki
Methods: A prison-based cross-sectional descriptive study was undertaken among 307 inmates and staff selected using a systematic sampling technique. Informed consent was obtained from the staff and inmates. The respondents were interviewed using a pre-tested interviewer administered structured questionnaire. GeneXpert test was done for respondents with cough of two weeks or more. Data analysis was done using SPSS statistical software version 22. Chi squared test was used for bivariate analysis and level of significance was set at a p-value of less than 0.05. Results were treated with strict confidentiality.
Results: The mean age of inmates was 34.96±5.7 years while staff was 38.43±3.5 years. Majority had secondary education. GeneXpert test result revealed 2.0% prevalence of PTB among suspected inmates, 1.1% among all inmates and 2.8% among staff. Prevalence of TB was associated with age group of both inmates and staff and duration of stay of inmates only.
Conclusion: This study found moderate prevalence of tuberculosis among inmates and prison staff in Abakaliki prison. Although this prevalenceis moderate, it is imperative that periodic screening of old inmates and newly introduced ones be practiced so as to minimize the burden of tuberculosis among prisoners. Implementation of current national or international cell occupancy recommendations would reduce TB transmission by 50% and 94% respectively especially now that there is increase in the incidence of MDR-TB.
Keywords: prevalence, PTB, prison, inmates and staff