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Ali, Solomon; Haileamlak, Abraham; Wieser, Andreas; Pritsch, Michael; Heinrich, Norbert; Loscher, Thomas; Hoelscher, Michael and Rachow, Andrea (2015): Prevalence of Pulmonary Tuberculosis among Prison Inmates in Ethiopia, a Cross-Sectional Study.
In: PLOS ONE 10(12), e0144040 [PDF, 267kB]


Setting Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the major health problems in prisons. Objective This study was done to assess the prevalence and determinants of active tuberculosis in Ethiopian prisons. Design A cross-sectional study was conducted from January 2013 to December 2013 in 13 zonal prisons. All incarcerated inmates underwent TB symptom screening according to WHO criteria. From identified TB-suspects two sputum samples were analyzed using smear microscopy and solid culture. A standardized questionnaire assessing TB risk factors was completed for each TB suspect. Results 765 (4.9%) TB suspects were identified among 15, 495 inmates. 51 suspects were already on anti-TB treatment (6.67%) and 20 (2.8%) new culture-confirmed TB cases were identified in the study, resulting in an overall TB prevalence of 458.1/100, 000 (95% CI: 350-560/100, 000). Risk factors for active TB were alcohol consumption, contact with a TB case before incarceration and no window in prison cell. HIV prevalence was not different between TB suspects and active TB cases. Further, the TB burden in prisons increased with advancing distance from the capital Addis Ababa. Conclusions The overall TB prevalence in Ethiopian prisons was high and extremely variable among different prisons. TB risk factors related to conditions of prison facilities and the impact of implemented TB control measures need to be further studied in order to improve TB control among inmates.

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