Tuberculosis is a chronic infections disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis attributable to nearly 9.3 million new cases and 2 million deaths a year, most of which occurring in developing countries. Besides its public health impact, tuberculosis continues to be a challenge for holistic development. Lack of proper knowledge regarding treatment of tuberculosis and consequences of defaulting lead to poor adherence in turn resulting to unsuccessful control program. To assess treatment defaulter rate and associated factors among tuberculosis patients on follow up attending Jimma University Specialized Hospital tuberculosis clinic. An institution based cross sectional study was conducted in JUSH, Southwest Ethiopia from March 1st to 30th March, 2016. The study population were tuberculosis patients on treatment during study period. Data was collected using face to face interview and record review using semi-structured questionnaires and checklists. Data was edited and entered to a statistical software, SPSS version 20.0 and then analyzed using of the same software. Chi-square test and p-value were done to show statistical significance of findings and in addition, association among different variables was determined. A total of 138 respondents were participated with a response rate of 95 of whom 83 (60%) were females and 40 (29%) were in 15 to 24 years age group. TB patients under new treatment regimen constitute for 128 (92.8%) and the rest 10 (7.2%) cases were under re-treatment regimen. About 85% (118/138) participants replied that they have heard about TB, and nearly 37% (51/138) stated that direct coughing or sneezing as a means of transmitting TB and 51 (37%) respondents tried at least 2 TB specific symptoms. However, based on assessment of the overall knowledge of TB, only 21(22.3%) of them were knowledgeable about tuberculosis in the context of knowing cause, transmission, prevention and treatment of tuberculosis while 73(77.7%) of were not knowledgeable. The high defaulting rate and the factors associated with defaulting in this study show high prevalence of defaulting rate and also the challenges faced by patients in the course of TB treatment.
Key words: Defaulter, TB and default.
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