Prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis and associated risk factors in Eastern Ethiopian prisons

Dawit Shawel Abebe, G. Bjune, G. Ameni, D. Biffa, F. Abebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and associated risk factors among inmates in three major prison settings of Eastern Ethiopia. DESIGN: Between July and November, 2008, 371 prisoners with a history of cough of ≥2 weeks were screened for PTB using direct smear microscopy and culture. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Of 371 PTB suspects identified by active screening, 33 (8.9%) were confirmed as smear- or culture-positive PTB. Together with the 11 PTB patients already on treatment, the point prevalence of PTB was 1913 per 100 000 (95%CI 1410-2580), about seven times higher than that of the general population. Eleven newly diagnosed PTB patients were sharing a cell with known TB patients. Factors significantly associated with PTB were young age (15-44 years of age) (OR 3.73), urban residence (OR 3.59), having a cough > 4 weeks (OR 3.15), and sharing a cell with a TB patient (OR 3.39) or a prisoner with chronic cough (OR 4.5). CONCLUSIONS: The study documented a high prevalence of PTB among Ethiopian prisoners. Sociod emographic and TB management factors were identified to be underlying causes of the high transmission rate and the acquisition of new cases. Active surveillance of TB and implementing prevention and control guidelines are imperative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-673
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethiopia
  • Prison
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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