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Free Content Treatment seeking behaviour of smear-positive tuberculosis patients diagnosed in Burkina Faso

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SETTING: Yalgado Ouedraogo University Health Centre and National Tuberculosis Centre, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

OBJECTIVE: To identify causes and circumstances leading to delays in the diagnosis of sputum-positive tuberculosis (TB).

DESIGN: A cross-sectional study conducted between October and December 2001. Data were collected on reasons for consulting and admission to hospital, health units visited and diagnoses.

RESULTS: Before obtaining a diagnosis, 24.5% of patients had visited a public health unit, 31% had visited a private health unit, 31% had treated themselves and 6% had visited a traditional healer. In total, 16% of visits to the National Tuberculosis Centre and the Yalgado Ouedraogo University Health Centre were initiated by the patients themselves, 43% by a relative and 41% by a health worker. The average delay to diagnosis was 4 months. Only 24.5% of patients had undergone smear microscopy compared to 44.2% who had undergone chest X-ray. The majority of patients came from the outskirts of Ouagadougou.

CONCLUSION: Delays in TB diagnosis seem to be due to the lack of awareness of patients and the incompetence of some health workers. Training and supervision of staff and TB information campaigns targeted at the population (transmission, symptoms and treatment) will improve TB control in Burkina Faso.

Keywords: Burkina Faso; sputum smear-positive tuberculosis; treatment seeking route

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pneumology, Yalgado Ouedraogo University Health Centre, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 2: Research Institute of Health Sciences, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 3: National Tuberculosis Programme, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 4: Department of Pneumology, Souro Sanou University Health Centre, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 5: Department of Internal Medicine, Yalgado Ouedraogo University Health Centre, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 6: Department of Pneumology, Treichville University Health Centre, Treichville, Côte d'Ivoire

Publication date: 2006-02-01

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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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