The predisposing factors and the cost implications of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in patients attending Federal Medical Centre, Benue State, Makurdi, was investigated. Information on socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the patients was obtained using a structured questionnaire. The female had a higher (56.5%) number of TB patients than the male (43.5%). Most of the TB patients were married (52%). A larger percentage had tertiary education (34%). Majority of the TB patients were civil servants (41%) and 78.5% earned less than
N 100,000 monthly. Those living in flats and bungalows made up a greater percentage of TB patients, and majority (55%) of them had more than five persons in their households (reflecting family size). It was also observed that many of the patients (54.5%) ate together or shared cutleries and about one-half (49.5%) of the patients reported that they were sleeping together on same bed with family members. In terms of house location most of the TB patients lived in North Bank (25.5%) and Wadata (22.5%). Mostly children (31.5%) and wives (30.5%) were affected by the TB disease; the proportion of affected husbands and relatives were lower. Many (71.5%) reported that they did not have health insurance and had stopped work because of TB ailment. Majority of the TB patients made substantial out-of-pocket expenses: up to 57.5% spent more than ₦500 on transport per visit, 52% spent more than ₦2000 on complementary test while 75.5% spent above ₦2000 on non-TB tests. From the findings of this study, it may be necessary to provide an enabling environment that facilitates treatment completion such as isolation of patients and adequate ventilation. A shorter treatment regimen eliminating visits to the healthcare should be encouraged.
Key words: Predisposing factors, cost, tuberculosis (TB), Makurdi.
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