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The first population-based national tuberculosis prevalence survey in Ethiopia, 2010-2011

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Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major public health problem in Ethiopia.


To determine the prevalence of pulmonary TB among the general adult population aged 15 years in 2010–2011.


A nationwide, cluster-sampled, stratified (urban/rural/pastoralist), cross-sectional survey was conducted in 85 selected clusters. All consenting participants were screened for TB using: 1) chest X-ray (CXR) and 2) an interview to screen for symptoms suggestive of TB disease.


Of 51 667 eligible individuals, 46 697 (90%) participated in the survey and completed at least the screening interview. CXR was performed among 46 548 (99.7%) participants. A total of 6080 (13%) participants were eligible for sputum examination. From the survey, it was estimated that in the national adult population 1) the prevalence of smear-positive TB was 108/100 000 (95%CI 73-143), and 2) that of bacteriologically confirmed TB was 277/100 000 (95%CI 208-347).


We found that the TB burden was lower than previously thought, which may indicate better programme performance. However, a high proportion of TB among young persons suggests that TB is circulating in the community and that there is a need for more efforts to limit the spread of TB disease.

Keywords: bacteriologically confirmed TB; population-based survey; prevalence of TB; sputum smear positive TB

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2: Global TB Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland 3: Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) is for clinical research and epidemiological studies on lung health, including articles on TB, TB-HIV and respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, asthma, COPD, child lung health and the hazards of tobacco and air pollution. Individuals and institutes can subscribe to the IJTLD online or in print – simply email us at [email protected] for details.

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