oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Factors associated with pulmonary tuberculosis outcomes among inmates in Potchefstroom Prison in North West province : original research

Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1015-8782
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1084



Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death among the world's prison populations. Prisons are reservoirs of tuberculosis and threaten inmates, prison staff, visitors and the surrounding community. This study was carried out to explore the associated factors with pulmonary tuberculosis treatment outcomes at Potchefstroom Prison. A retrospective record review of 202 inmates with tuberculosis, whose treatment outcomes as of March 2010 were known, was conducted. Data on sex; racial group; level of education; weight; smoking habits; existence and type of co-morbidity, diagnostic classification; treatment regimen, initiation date, completion date and outcome; use of directly observed treatment; allergy and hospitalisation were captured. The majority of the inmates (142, 70.3%) were aged 21-37 years, while 48 (23.8%) were aged 38-53 years. There were 198 (98%) male and 4 (2%) female inmates. Fifty-five inmates (27.3%) had attained Grade 6 and lower, 71 (35.1%) grade 7-9, 68 (33.7%) Grade 10-12, and 8 (3.9%) above grade 12. One hundred and fifty-eight (78.2%) received occasional visitors. There were 121 (59.9%) smokers. The adverse outcomes for tuberculosis were significantly increased by an age < 37 years, human immunodeficiency virus co-infection, smoking, a lack of support and an absence of directly observed treatment. Inmates who received fewer visits and less social support must be supported by community volunteers, counsellors and psychologists in order to motivate them and enhance favourable treatment outcomes. Smokers need to stop smoking. Younger inmates require peer support groups.

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