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Socio-economic, gender and health services factors affecting diagnostic delay for tuberculosis patients in urban Zambia

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In-depth interviews regarding health seeking behaviour were conducted with 202 adults registered with pulmonary tuberculosis at the centralized Chest Clinic in Lusaka, Zambia. The median (mean) diagnostic delay was 8.6 (9) weeks, and was significantly associated with the following factors: female sex, lower education, more than six instances of health-seeking encounters, outpatient diagnosis of tuberculosis, and visiting a private doctor or traditional healer. More effective tuberculosis control interventions require novel methods of accessing women and less educated people. Decentralization of public tuberculosis care and improved integration with private sector health providers may also reduce diagnostic delay.

Keywords: Africa; diagnostic delay; gender; socio-economic; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-04-01

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