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Open Access The burden and outcomes of childhood tuberculosis in Cotonou, Benin

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SETTING: The National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) and the paediatric ward of the General Hospital (GH), Cotonou, Benin.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the burden of tuberculosis (TB), characteristics and outcomes among children treated in Cotonou from 2009 to 2011.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional cohort study consisting of a retrospective record review of all children with TB aged <15 years.

RESULTS: From 2009 to 2011, 182 children with TB were diagnosed and treated (4.5% of total cases), 153 (84%) by the NTP and 29 (16%) by the GH; the latter were not notified to the NTP. The incidence rate of notified TB cases was between 8 and 13 per 100 000 population, and was higher in children aged >5 years. Of 167 children tested, 29% were HIV-positive. Treatment success was 72% overall, with success rates of 86%, 62% and 74%, respectively, among sputum smear-positive, sputum smear-negative and extra-pulmonary patients. Treatment success rates were lower in children with sputum smear-negative TB (62%) and those with HIV infection (58%).

CONCLUSION: The number of children being treated for TB is low, and younger children in particular are underdiagnosed. There is a need to improve the diagnosis of childhood TB, especially among younger children, and to improve treatment outcomes among HIV-TB infected children, with better follow-up and monitoring.
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Keywords: NTP; children; general hospital; outcome; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Tuberculosis Programme, Cotonou, Benin 2: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France; and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom 3: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France 4: University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway 5: Paediatric Service, Centre National Hospitalier et Universitaire, Cotonou, Benin

Publication date: March 21, 2013

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  • Public Health Action (PHA), The Union's quarterly open access on-line journal, provides a platform for its mission 'Health solutions for the poor'. PHA addresses the need for show-casing operational research that addresses issues in health systems and services. It publishes high-quality scientific research that provides new knowledge to improve access, equity, quality and efficiency of health systems and services.

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