Prevalence of tuberculosis and associated factors among presumptive TB refugees residing in refugee camps in Ethiopia

Abyot Meaza, Bazezew Yenew, Miskir Amare, Ayinalem Alemu, Michael Hailu, Dinka Fikadu Gamtesa, Mirgissa Kaba, Girmay Medhin, Gobena Ameni, Balako Gumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Tuberculosis (TB) causes significant morbidity and mortality in refugee populations. Although Ethiopia is the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, there is limited published data on the prevalence and associated factors of TB in refugees. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary TB (PTB) and explore associated factors in presumptive TB refugees residing in refugee camps in Ethiopia. Methods: A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted between February and August 2021 in refugee camps in Ethiopia. Data were collected consecutively from 610 presumptive TB refugees who attended for TB diagnosis in selected refugee camp clinics in Ethiopia. A pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect data, and sputum samples were collected from eligible study participants. The Xpert Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)/Rifampicin (RIF) assay was performed on direct spot sputum samples, whereas morning sputum samples were processed and inoculated for bacteriological culture using Mycobacterium Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) and Lowsteen Jensen (LJ) methods. The statistical software package (STATA version 14) was used for statistical analysis. A logistic regression model was used for the evaluation of the association between bacteriologically confirmed TB cases and the associated factors. Descriptive statistics were used for the expression of the results, and statistical significance was assumed at p < 0.05. Results: Out of 610 study participants, more than half were female (54.9%), and the mean age was 37.9 years (SD, 16.64). The prevalence of bacteriologically confirmed PTB cases among refugees residing in refugee camps in Ethiopia was 13.3% (95% CI, 10.7–16.2%) using the Xpert MTB/RIF assay and/or culture. MTB was detected in 12.8% (95% CI, 10.2–15.7%) of the individuals using the Xpert MTB/RIF assay, while culture positivity was observed in 11.6% (95% CI, 9.2–14.5%). The multivariable logistic regression model showed South Sudan origins (adjusted odds ratio, AOR = 7.74; 95% CI, 3.05–19.64), age group, 19–38 years old (AOR = 5.66; 95% CI, 1.86–17.28), and male sex (AOR = 2.69; 95% CI, 1.58–4.56) were significantly associated with the bacteriologically confirmed TB among refugees residing in refugee camps in Ethiopia. Conclusion: The prevalence of bacteriologically confirmed PTB among presumptive TB refugees residing in refugee camps in Ethiopia was high. The national TB program should strengthen TB prevention and control activities in the refugee camps of Ethiopia. Moreover, an active TB survey program should be implemented in refugee camps in Ethiopia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number498
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Presumptive
  • Prevalence
  • Refugee camps in Ethiopia
  • Refugees
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases

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