Active Case Finding of Pulmonary Tuberculosis among Prison Inmates in Aba Federal Prison, Abia State, Nigeria


Background: Conditions in prisons favour rapid transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and progression to tuberculosis (TB) disease, resulting in higher prevalence rates of TB in prisons than in the corresponding general population. However, in many developing countries with high TB burden, passive case-finding remains the usual approach to case detection of TB in prisons. On this premise, the Abia State TB Control Programme conducted a pilot study to assess the contribution of active case finding to tuberculosis control in Aba Federal Prison. Methods: The inmates were clinically screened and those with symptoms suggestive of TB cases were tested by sputum smear microscopy. Results: Out of the total number of 477 prison inmates present in the prison at the time of study, 449 (94.1%) were clinically screened for history of cough of 2 weeks’ duration; 52 (10.42%) met the inclusion criteria for sputum smear microscopy. Eleven of the 52 (21.15%) tested for acid fast bacilli (AFB) by direct smear light microscopy were positive for AFB. One inmate was on anti-tuberculosis therapy; this with the 11 cases detected in the course of this study gave a total of 12 inmates of Aba prison with active pulmonary tuberculosis at the time of this study. This gives a minimum point prevalence rate of 2405 cases per 100,000 prison inmates. Four of the 11 prison cells had at least one smear positive case with 7 of the 11 cases concentrated in two cells. The age group of 25 - 34 years had the highest number of sputum positive cases. Conclusion: Active case-finding resulted in detection of 11 new cases of sputum positive tuberculosis (an increase in detection rate of 1100%) and the prevalence of sputum positive TB is very high (2405 cases per 100,000 prison inmates) in Aba prison. There is an urgent need to institute more effective TB case-finding and control in the prison.

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Ekundayo, E. , Onuka, O. , Mustapha, G. and Geoffrey, M. (2015) Active Case Finding of Pulmonary Tuberculosis among Prison Inmates in Aba Federal Prison, Abia State, Nigeria. Advances in Infectious Diseases, 5, 57-62. doi: 10.4236/aid.2015.51006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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