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1.  Treatment delay among pulmonary tuberculosis patients in pastoralist communities in Bale Zone, Southeast Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:320.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in Africa with Ethiopia being the most affected. Treatment delay is an important indicator of access to TB diagnosis and treatment. However, little is known about factors associated with treatment delay of pulmonary TB among pastoralists. Health facility based cross sectional study was conducted on 129 pulmonary TB patients in pastoralist community. The study was conducted in three health centers and a hospital. Time between onset of TB symptoms and first visit to a professional health care provider (patient delay), and the time between first visits to the professional health care provider to the date of diagnosis (provider's delay) were analyzed using SPSS 16.0 statistical software.
A total of 129 new smear positive pulmonary TB patients participated in the study. The median total delay was 97 days. The median patient and health provider delays were 63 and 34 days, respectively. Ninety six percent of the patients were delayed for more than the twenty one days cutoff point. Patient delay was positively associated with first visit to traditional healer/private clinic/drug shop, rural residence, being illiterate, living in more than 10 kilometers from health facility; severity of illness at first presentation to health facility. Provider delay was positively associated with rural residence, being illiterate, patient with good functional status, patients in contact with more than two health providers, and place of first visit being traditional healer/private clinic/drug shop.
This study showed that majority of smear positive patients delayed either for diagnosis or treatment, thus continue to serve as reservoirs of infection. This indicates that there is a need for intervention to decrease patient and provider delays. Effort to reduce delays in pastoralist communities should focus on improving access to services in rural communities, engaging traditional and private health providers and should target illiterate individuals.
PMCID: PMC3434087  PMID: 22720757
Tuberculosis; Delay in treatment seeking; Delayed diagnosis; Ethiopia
2.  Evaluation of collaborative TB/HIV activities in a general hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:67.
Ethiopia has had mechanisms for TB/HIV collaborative activities since 2002. However, no published account has defined the role of these collaborative efforts in strengthening linkages between HIV and TB management units at the point-of-care level. Our objective was to assess the extent of linkages between the two programs at the patient management level at Zewditu Memorial Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Between January and December 2008, the registers of 241 TB patients were reviewed to determine the HIV testing rate, the treatment charts of 238 randomly selected patients were reviewed for providers' compliance with evaluation criteria, and exit interviews were conducted with 309 TB/HIV co-infected clients to validate providers' compliance.
From register review, it was determined that the HIV testing acceptance rate was 95%, and that 70% of patients received post-test counseling. A review of the patient chart revealed that of 51 patients with a complaint of cough, duration for cough was recorded in 35 (68.6%) cases and cough > 2 weeks was recorded in 25 (49.0%) cases. Seventy two percent (18 of 25) were linked for sputum microscopy. Linkage to cotrimoxazole prophylactic treatment was 81%, but only 47% of eligible patients were linked to isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT). Correct diagnosis was accomplished at a rate of 100% for smear positive pulmonary TB, 23% for smear negative pulmonary TB and 88% for extra pulmonary TB patients. Both chart review and exit interviews indicated that history of TB contact and cough > 2 weeks predicted TB disease.
The rates of HIV testing and linkage to cotrimoxazole prophylactic therapy were high. Improvement is needed in the areas of recording patient information, screening HIV positives for TB, initiation of IPT, referral, linkages, and TB diagnostic capacity.
PMCID: PMC3293037  PMID: 22277087
3.  The synergy between TB and HIV co-infection on perceived stigma in Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:249.
The synergy between tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection on perceived stigma is not well studied. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of TB/HIV co-infection on perceived stigma in selected hospitals of Oromiya region, Ethiopia. A cross sectional study was conducted from February to April, 2009 in Adama, Nekemet and Jimma Specialized hospitals. Data were collected by trained HIV counselors. A structured questionnaire which consisted of socio-demographic variables, clinical information, perceived stigma, and depression was used to collect the data
A total of 591 participants were included in the study of whom 124 (20.9%) were co-infected with TB/HIV. The stigma items were highly reliable (Cronbach's alpha = 0.93) and had strong inter dimension correlation. Respondents who were co-infected with TB and HIV were more likely to have perceived stigma compared to non-co-infected HIV patients, [OR = 1.4, (95% CI: 1.2, 2.0)]. Non-literate individuals [OR = 1.9, (95% CI: 1.2, 3.0)] and females [OR = 1.6, (95% CI: 1.2, 2.3)] had also more perceived stigma.
TB/HIV co-infected patients, non-literate individuals and females were more likely to have high perceived stigma. Behavioral Change Communication should focus on these segments of the population to rectify the high perceived stigma.
PMCID: PMC2966463  PMID: 20920360

Results 1-3 (3)