Tuberculosis (TB) has become a global health challenge; it is a serious problem in sub-Saharan Africa, where rates of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) co-infection and drug resistance are high. The prevalence and rifampicin (RIF) resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) among patients attending Federal Medical Centre Makurdi, Benue State was investigated. Sputum samples collected from 200 patients were tested for acid-fast Bacilli (AFB) using Ziehl-Neelsen stain. GeneXpert machine was used to test the resistance of the AFB to rifampicin. The prevalence of TB was 25.5% and the infection rate was higher in males (28.3%) than in females (23.1%), even though the difference was not statistically significant (2=0.684; p>0.05). The prevalence of TB among HIV patients was also investigated. Prevalence of TB in HIV sero-positive patients was 22.2 and 28.9% in HIV sero-negative patients. This difference, however, was not statistically significant (2=4.453; p>0.05). Most (70.6%) of the AFB positive specimens were susceptible to rifampicin; only a few (29.4%) were resistant to it (2=43.377; p<0.05). With the high prevalence of TB and the high rifampicin resistance (MDR-TB) in Benue State, policy makers and government should increase budgetary allocations for TB control and prevention through sourcing or appealing to international organizations for finance. In addition, the government should encourage research for the development of new and better TB vaccines by financing the project.
Key words: Prevalence, resistance, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Makurdi.
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