Risk Factors in the Transmission of Tuberculosis in Nairobi: A Descriptive Epidemiological Study


Background: Tuberculosis is an infectious disease with an estimated 1.45 million deaths every year. Many patients get infected as a result of ignorance of the risk factors that contribute to disease transmission. Methodology: A descriptive epidemiological study was conducted on 258 patients presenting with pulmonary tuberculosis. Patients’ sputa were collected for laboratory analysis and patients were required to respond to a structured questionnaire on risk factors for transmission. Data among stratified groups were compared using bivariate analysis. Statistical significance was considered at p < 0.05. Results: There were significantly more males than females associated with pulmonary tuberculosis infection (χ2 = 0.963; df = 1; p < 0.05). Monthly income was significant in disease transmission with 222 (86.0%) of the patients earning less than 100$ and 90 (34.9%) earning less than 50$ per month (p < 0.05, 95% CI). One hundred and seventy three patients (67.1%) were unemployed or running small businesses. Only 85 (32.9%) were in formal employment. Results showed 166 (64.3%) patients were living in single rooms with 110 (42.6%) living with more than two people with a maximum of 10 people in a single room. Only 73 (28.3%) were living alone in a single room and only 7 families (2.7%) were living in houses with five or more rooms. Alcohol consumers and smokers were 102 (39.5%) and 93 (36%) respectively. Half of the patients (137 (53.3%)) had not completed secondary education with only 16 (6.2%) having completed tertiary education. Recurrent cases were 54 (21%) while those exposed to the disease either at home or working place were 75 (29.2%). Out of 171 patients who agreed to test for HIV, 46 (26.9%) were positive. Marital status had no effect on incidence of disease. Conclusion: Emphasis should be given to creating awareness of the risk factors associated with transmission of tuberculosis in order to reduce the rate of infection.

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P. Ndungu, G. Revathi, S. Kariuki and Z. Ng’ang’a, "Risk Factors in the Transmission of Tuberculosis in Nairobi: A Descriptive Epidemiological Study," Advances in Microbiology, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 160-165. doi: 10.4236/aim.2013.32025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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