JTR  Vol.7 No.2 , June 2019
Tuberculosis among School Age (6 - 18 Years) Children Seen in University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital: A Need for Effective School Health Services
Abstract: Introduction: Tuberculosis (TB) still causes significant morbidity and mortality amongst adults and children despite all the efforts which have been put into the control of the disease. However, the prevalence of the disease in school age children is unknown because of scarcity of TB screening surveys in Nigerian schools. The aim of this study was to evaluate the proportion of school age children treated for TB in the Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) clinic of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). Methods: The records of all children 6 to 18 years who were treated in the DOTS clinic from 2011 to 2014 were reviewed. Information sought included age, sex, sputum Acid Fast Bacillus (AFB) status, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) status and treatment outcome. Results: One hundred and forty children aged 6 to 18 years were treated in the University Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital DOTS clinic, representing 41.79% of childhood TB cases seen over the study period. Seventy one (50.71%) patients were males and 69 (49.29%) were females. Their mean age was 12 ± 3.86. Thirty-one (22.14%) had smear positive TB. Sputum smear positivity was commonest (54.84%) among those who were 16 years and above compared to the other age groups and this is statistically significant (x2 = 17.72, p = 0.001). Forty-one (35%) patients were HIV positive and 6 (4.29%) were positive for both HIV and AFB. Ninety (64.29%) patients recovered fully following treatment, 48 (34.29%) were referred to other DOTS centres and 2 (1.43%) died. Gender, age group, AFB and HIV status showed no relationship with treatment outcome. Conclusion: School age children 6 to 18 years made up a large proportion of childhood TB cases seen within the study period in the DOTS clinic. More than one third of them were HIV/TB co-infected. An effective School Health Services should be established in schools in Port Harcourt to curb the spread of TB and other communicable diseases within the schools.
Cite this paper: Alex-Hart, B.A., Paul, N.I. and Ugwu, R.O. (2019) Tuberculosis among School Age (6 - 18 Years) Children Seen in University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital: A Need for Effective School Health Services. Journal of Tuberculosis Research, 7, 109-117. doi: 10.4236/jtr.2019.72010.

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