Tuberculosis is one of the killer diseases of great antiquity especially in developing countries and so contributes significantly to health instability and economic loss. The directly observed treatment(DOT) course is the recommended standard of care in treatment of tuberculosis worldwide and its key elements lie in making the diagnosis. The study was aimed at examining the socio-demographic characteristics of patients presenting at a primary health care centre in Zaria, North-Western Nigeria. The records of all suspected cases of tuberculosis seen at Sabon-Gari Comprehensive Health Centre Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria between May, 2005 - 2006 were scrutinized and reviewed. The main variables studied were age, education, occupational and educational status. A total of 694 case records were reviewed comprising of 58.4% of males and 41.6% females with a mean age of 32.78 years ± 15.10. The proportion of sputum smear positive samples was 12% with high pronderance of smear positive cases in the age group 20 - 29 years. There was statistically significant association between sex (x2 =52 df = 1 p < 0.05) educational status (x2 = 10.24 df = 4 p < 0.05) occupational status (x2 = 19.2 df = 5 p < 0.05) and the very likely chance of detecting AFB in sputum. The study revealed that most of the patient presenting with tuberculosis are in the productive age with unemployment and low literacy level serving as potent risk factors for tuberculosis in the study area. There was a positive relationship between sputum positive, unemployment, education and occupational status (socio-demographic characteristics). There is the need for National tuberculosis and leprosy control programme (NTLCP) to take cognizance of socio-demographic factors in designing an efficient TB control programme in Nigeria.
Key words: Tuberculosis, socio-demographic characteristics, age, occupation, educational status.
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