Vol. 1, Issue 1 (2019)
Pulmonary tuberculosis in Uzbekistan
Author(s): Ashikujaman Syed
Abstract: Early diagnosis and prompt effective therapy are crucial for the prevention of tuberculosis (TB) transmission, particularly in regions with high levels of multi-drug resistant TB. This study aimed to evaluate the extent of delay in diagnosis and treatment of TB in Uzbekistan and identify associated risk factors. A cross-sectional study was performed on hospital patients with newly diagnosed TB. The time between the onset of respiratory symptoms and initiation of anti-TB treatment was assessed and delays were divided into patient, health system and total delays. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate determinants of diagnostic and treatment delay. Among 538 patients enrolled, the median delay from onset of symptoms until treatment with anti-TB drugs was 50 days. Analysis of the factors affecting health-seeking behaviour and timely treatment showed the presence of the patient factor. Self-medication was the first health-seeking action for 231 (43%) patients and proved to be a significant predictor of delay (p = 0.005), as well as coughing (p = 0.009), loss of weight (p = 0.001), and visiting private and primary healthcare facilities (p = 0.03 and p = 0.02, respectively).