Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be an important public health problem worldwide. It is a leading cause of disability and death in many parts of the world especially in the developing countries. Ethiopia has already a record of history of TB around greater than 58 years. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence and associated factors of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) in Harar TB control center. A health institution based cross sectional study was conducted in Harar town, Eastern Ethiopia from March 5, 2009 to May 7, 2009. All patients who were above 5 years of age and visited Harar TB control center during the study period were enrolled consecutively. Sputum specimens were collected based on standard operating procedures and processed using hot Ziehl-Neelson staining technique. Structured questionnaires were used to collect data on socio-demographic and associated factors. Data were cleaned, coded and entered using EPIDATA version 3.1 and analyzed using SPSS version 16 software. P-values < 0.05 were taken as statistically significant. A total of 108 Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB) suspected patients were enrolled in the study. The overall prevalence of PTB was 16.7% where 22.8% of males and 9.8% of females were PTB smear positive. The prevalence of PTB was significantly higher among smokers (50%), alcohol drinkers (29.3%) and rural residents (29.3) (P<0.05). The prevalence of PTB in the study area was considerably high. Smoking, drinking alcohol and rural residence (areas nominated by the government as “rural” which lack important infrastructures) were significant predictors of PTB. Therefore; health education, early diagnosis and treatment are vital to combat PTB and further longitudinal studies are recommended.
Keywords: Prevalence, PTB, Harar, Ethiopia
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