Health care seeking delay among pulmonary tuberculosis patients in North West zone of Tigrai region, North Ethiopia.


Haileselasie Berhane Alema


Department of Public Health, College of Health Science, Aksum University, P.O.Box: 298, Axum, Ethiopia. [Email]


BACKGROUND : Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem and it is among the top 10 causes of death worldwide. One of the challenges against attaining an effective TB control program is delay in seeking health care to diagnosis and treatment of TB patients. The aim of this study was to assess health care-seeking delay among pulmonary TB patients.
METHODS : An institutional based cross-sectional study was conducted among new pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients > 15 years of age who were enrolled in the intensive phase TB treatment from November 1, 2015 - January 30, 2016. Data were collected by an interviewer administered technique using a structured questionnaire. Health care seeking delay was categorized by using a median cutoff point of > 30 days as a prolonged health care seeking delay. Logistic regression analyses were employed to determine factors independently associated with the delays in health care seeking.
RESULTS : A total of 422 PTB patients were included in this study. The median age of respondents was 37 years (interquartile range (IQR) =35-44). The median time of health care seeking delay was 30 days (IQR) = 21-60). Respondents occupation, knowledge about pulmonary tuberculosis, health facility visited first, seeking treatment from traditional or religious healers before visiting health facilities, reason for not seeking treatment early from health facilities, and reason for first consultation were found to be significantly associated with health care seeking delay.
CONCLUSIONS : The study showed the magnitude of health care seeking delay among pulmonary tuberculosis patient was very long and the factors associated with health care seeking delay were: occupation, knowledge status, health facility visited first and seeking treatment from religious or traditional healer before health facilities. To overcome delay of health care seeking among tuberculosis patients, efforts should required availing tuberculosis diagnostic and treatment services at the primary health care level.


Delay,Health care seeking,Pulmonary tuberculosis,Tigrai,

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