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Free Content Tuberculosis in a prison population in Mwanza, Tanzania (1994–1997)

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SETTING: Bugando Medical Centre, a referral consultant hospital in the lake zone to which all inmates from Butimba prison are admitted and treated.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the extent of open (smear-positive) tuberculosis and other types of tuberculosis among prisoners with tuberculosis.

DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study. Case notes of 501 prisoners from January 1994 to December 1997 were retrieved and reviewed.

RESULTS: The proportion of open tuberculosis in this study was high, with 204 prisoners (40.7%) having smear-positive tuberculosis. Co-infection was recorded in the majority of patients; HIV/AIDS was recorded in 25.9% of cases. The mean length of imprisonment at the time of diagnosis was 19 months.

CONCLUSION: The proportion of open, smear-positive tuberculosis among prisoners admitted with tuberculosis is high. Intervention measures specifically targeting this population are urgently needed in order to contain tuberculosis disease in the prison population.

Keywords: Tanzania; prison; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Community Health, Bugando Medical Centre, Mwanza, Tanzania 2: Bugando Medical Centre, Mwanza, Tanzania and Department of Community Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada 3: Muhimbi Medical Centre, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Norway

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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