Assessment of knowledge and practice about tuberculosis among eastern Ethiopian prisoners

D. S. Abebe, D. Biffa, G. Bjune, G. Ameni, F. Abebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To assess the level of knowledge and practice related to TB and identify predictive factors in three prisons in eastern Ethiopia: Dire Dawa, Jijiga and Harar. DESIGN: Between July and November 2008, 382 TB patients and suspects were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and ordinal logistic regression. RESULTS: Only six (1.6%) prisoners described the cause of TB as being bacterial, while a wind locally known as 'nefas' was frequently mentioned (36.1%); nearly 75% of the prisoners correctly described breath as a mode of TB transmission; 116 (30.7%) did not know any measures for TB prevention and control; and half of the participants did not know that anti-tuberculosis drugs were provided free of charge. Significant predictors of TB knowledge were: incarceration in the Jijiga (OR 9.62, P < 0.001) and Dire Dawa (OR 2.14, P = 0.016) prisons, those who did not consult and receive treatment for TB symptoms (OR 2.46, P < 0.001), and prisoners without a past history of TB (OR 2.72, P = 0.002). CONCLUSION: The study demonstrates that prisoners have a modest level of biomedical knowledge. As part of the National TB Programme, health education programmes need to be implemented to enhance prisoners' knowledge of TB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-233
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethiopia
  • Knowledge
  • Practice
  • Prison
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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