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Martha Tibebu, Wondale Mekonnen, Tadesse Awoke, Solomon Gebre-Selassie, Lawrence Yamuah, Stefan Berg and Abraham Aseffa
Background: Dairy farm workers constitute the interface for inter-transmission of human tuberculosis to cattle and zoonotic tuberculosis to humans. Animal tuberculosis is endemic in Ethiopia, where human tuberculosis is also a large concern.
Objective: The main objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of tuberculosis and associated factors.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among dairy farm workers, between February 2010 to January 2011, in Addis Ababa and the surrounding districts. Individuals with symptom complex of tuberculosis were subjected to physical examination, radiographic and laboratory investigations. Sputum samples were collected and processed by culture on Lowenstein Jensen media. Data were entered, cleaned and explored using SPSS version 16. Logistic regression was fitted; odds ratios, 95% confidence interval and p-values were calculated to test associations between variables. Ethical clearance and written informed consents were obtained.
Results: Out of the total 256 voluntary participants, there were 12 tuberculosis suspects and 3 tuberculosis cases. The prevalence of tuberculosis was found to be 1.17%. Participants who consumed raw animal products were about 4 times more likely to manifest the symptom complex of tuberculosis than those consuming cooked products (Adjusted OR=3.8, 95% CI: 1.08-13.29). Only 20.3% of the participants knew the main routes of tuberculosis transmission. Those who had knowledge about the routes of transmission were 3.7 times more likely to have the symptom complex of tuberculosis compared to those who did not know the routes of transmission (Adjusted OR=3.7, 95% CI: 1.12-12.23).
Conclusion and recommendation: The prevalence of tuberculosis among dairy farm workers in Addis Ababa and surrounding areas is higher than the national average. Policy makers and stakeholders are encouraged to design a program aiming for early case detection and prevention of spread of tuberculosis to all susceptible hosts including animals.