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Free Content Tuberculosis incidence and treatment completion among Ugandan prison inmates

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BACKGROUND

The Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) is responsible for the health of approximately 32 500 inmates in 233 prisons. In 2008 a rapid UPS assessment estimated TB prevalence at 654/100 000, three times that of the general population (183/100 000). Although treatment programs exist, little is known about treatment completion in sub-Saharan African prisons.
METHODS

We conducted a retrospective study of Ugandan prisoners diagnosed with TB from June 2011 to November 2012. We analyzed TB diagnosis, TB-HIV comorbidity and treatment completion from national registers and tracked prison transfers and releases.
RESULTS

A total of 469 prisoners were diagnosed with TB over the 1.5-year period (incidence 955/100 000 person-years). Of 466 prisoners starting treatment, 48% completed treatment, 43% defaulted, 5% died and 4% were currently on treatment. During treatment, 12% of prisoners remaining in the same prison defaulted, 53% of transfers defaulted and 81% of those released were lost to follow-up. The odds of defaulting were 8.36 times greater among prisoners who were transferred during treatment.
CONCLUSIONS

TB incidence and treatment default are high among Ugandan prisoners. Strategies to improve treatment completion and prevent multidrug resistance could include avoiding transfer of TB patients, improving communications between prisons to ensure treatment follow-up after transfer and facilitating transfer to community clinics for released prisoners.
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Keywords: TB; Uganda; prisons

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Epidemic Intelligence Service, Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, USA 2: Uganda Prisons Service, Kampala 3: Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Center for Global Health, CDC, Entebbe, Uganda

Publication date: July 1, 2014

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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 lung health world-wide.

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