Factors Determining Treatment Success in Children with Drug-Sensitive Tuberculosis in Ethiopia: A Three-Year Retrospective Analysis

Journal Article
  • Dereje Habte
  • Yared Tadesse
  • Dereje Bekele
  • Genetu Alem
  • Degu Jerene
  • Nebiyu Hiruy
  • Zewdu Gashu
  • Tadesse Anteneh
  • Daniel G. Datiko
  • Yewulsew Kassie
  • Pedro G. Suarez
  • Muluken Melese
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Sept. 21, 2020. DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.19-0816.


This study in the Amhara and Oromia regions of Ethiopia assessed the outcomes of tuberculosis (TB) treatment among children younger than 15 years. Retrospective data were collected on treatment outcomes and their determinants for children with TB for the cohorts of 2012-2014 enrolled in 40 hospitals and 137 health centers. Chi-square tests, t-tests, and logistic regression were used for the analysis. Of 2,557 children registered, 1,218 (47.6%) had clinically diagnosed pulmonary TB, 1,100 (43%) had extrapulmonary TB, and 277 (8.9%) had bacteriologically confirmed TB. Among all cases, 2,503 (97.9%) were newly diagnosed and 178 (7%) were HIV positive. Two-thirds of the children received directly observed treatment (DOT) in health centers and the remaining one-third, in hospitals. The treatment success rate (TSR) was 92.2%, and the death rate was 2.8%. The childhood TSR was high compared with those reported in focal studies in Ethiopia, but no national TSR report for children exists for comparison. Multivariate analysis showed that being older-5-9 years (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 95% CI: 2.53, 1.30-4.94) and 10-14 years (AOR, 95% CI: 2.71, 1.40-5.26)-enrolled in DOT in a health center (AOR, 95% CI: 2.51, 1.82-3.48), and HIV negative (AOR, 95% CI: 1.77, 1.07-2.93) were predictors of treatment success, whereas underdosing during the intensive phase of treatment (AOR, 95% CI: 0.54, 0.36-0.82) was negatively correlated with treatment success. We recommend more research to determine if intensive monitoring of children with TB, dosage adjustment of anti-TB drugs based on weight changes, and training of health workers on dosage adjustment might improve treatment outcomes.