Patient and Healthcare System Delays in the Start of Pulmonary Tuberculosis Treatment Among Tribal Patients Registered Under DOTS, Odisha LC21-LC24
Ms. Sudipta Basa,
118/12, 2nd Floor, Near Gurukul, Gautam Nagar, New Delhi-110049, India.
Introduction: Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease which continues to be an important public health problem worldwide.
Aim: This study puts an effort to determine patient and health system delay in diagnosis and treatment and association to specific types of delay among tribals in Mayurbhanj district, Odisha.
Materials and Methods: A total of 261 TB patients reporting to 4 TB Units of Mayurbhanj were interviewed using pre-tested structured questionnaire. Extra-pulmonary TB patients and death cases were excluded. Data entry and analysis was carried out in Epi-info 3.32 version. Chi-square test was used to test the association between dependant variable (patient and health system delays) with different independent variables (age, sex, reasons for delay etc.).
Results: Median patient, health system and total delay were 24, 3 and 24 days respectively. Risk factors that were significantly associated with patient delay were education (95% CI= 1.01-1.11, p=0.015), cost of treatment/transport (95% CI=0.87-1.01, p=0.020), distance (95% CI=1.00-1.29, p=0.002) and lack of awareness about TB (95% CI=1.01-1.34, p=0.001). Health system delay risk factors were distance (95% CI=0.32-0.96, p=0.043), delay due to administrative verification (95% CI=1.18-57.97, p= 0.005) and delay due to traditional healers/ private practitioners (95% CI=1.61-15.45, p=0.0008).
Conclusion: This study revealed longer patient delay compared to health system delay. Therefore, public awareness in tribal dialect about chest symptoms and availability of free diagnostics services should be increased along with involvement of traditional healers.