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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Tuberculosis By The Directely Observsed Treatment Shortcourse (DOTS): A Case Study Of Nembe Comprehensive Health Centre TB Treatment Unit, South-South Nigeria.


Atiegha C. Igoni M , Victor I.,
Department Of Medical Laboratory Sciences, College Of Health Technology Otuogidi-ogbia , Bayelsa State.
Ayaowei I.T.
Department Of Health Information Management, College Of Health Technology Otuogidi-ogbia , Bayelsa State.
Eseimokumo Me.
Department Of Pharmarcy Technician Studies, College Of Health Technology Otuogidi-ogbia , Bayelsa State.

All correspondence to: IGONI M ; Bayelsa State College of Health Technology: e mail; achristo40@gmail.com.

The treatment of tuberculosis has evolved from streptomycin to the DOTS strategy .Even as at that it is a serious challenge. This retrospective study was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of the method. A total of sixty seven(67) Tuberculosis cases were evaluated at the Tuberculosis Treatment centre Nembe comprehensive Health Centre, Bayelsa state , it covered a period of four (4) years, from 2009 to 2012. Out of sixty seven cases that continued their treatment regiment to the end sixty four persons were cured and in only seven instances persons shows the ineffectiveness of the drugs by testing positive to the bacilli during chemotherapy. It is therefore recommended for community and family based treatment.

Key words: DOTS, Cured, treatment completed and treatment failure.

Tuberculosis, a major health challenge and leading infectious killer is caused mainly in man by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacilli enters the body by inhalation of droplets or dust particles containing it. It occurs as pulmonary tuberculosis or non- pulmonary tuberculosis. In pulmonary tuberculosis the pulmonary aveoli and surrounding lymph glands are lodged by the bacilli resulting in lesion characterized by acute inflammatory reactions with accumulation of fluid and white blood cells around the aveoli, while the non pulmonary tuberculosis includes the renal and urogenital tuberculosis, military tuberculosis and tuberculosis meningitis with varying symptoms1.
In sub-saharan Africa, cases of tuberculosis have increased dramatically, overwhelming control programs 2. This could be as a result of the fact that tuberculosis infection control interventions are not routinely implemented in contrast to what happens in high income countries with low prevalence of tuberculosis where infection control policy is routinely observed3. However the launch of directly observed treatment shortcourse (DOTS) in 1995 by the world health organization (WHO) has shown to be an effective intervention that will lead to reduced tuberculosis transmission and decreasing number of tuberculosis cases4,5. Also it is among the most cost-effective global health interventions available today6,7.
The DOTS strategy is based around a short-course treatment regimen for a minimum of six months of four drugs in combination (2 months of Isoniazide, Rifampicin ,Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol), a good management practice, sputum smear microscopy for diagnosis and the direct observation of doses to ensure adherence. Treatment success under DOTS concerns two outcomes- cured and treatment completed: “cured” if patient finish the treatment regimen with negative bacteriology at the end of the treatment whereas “treatment completed” refers to patients who have finished the regiment in full without showing evidence of treatment failure and without negative bacteriology. This treatment regiment however use to suffer from a number of drawbacks, with the combination of available drugs, the duration of treatment cannot be reduced below six months without a significance in relapses although re-infection with a different strain of mycobacterium tuberculosis can cause tuberculosis recurrence, which is considered to be an important measure of efficacy of tuberculosis treatment8,9. Also when treatment is given under sub-optimal conditions, regiments are associated with high rate of patients non-adherence specially in low income countries which harbor high burden of diseases10. The consequence of this is increased mortality and creation of clinic infections, drug resistant cases. The World Health Organization estimates in 2004, 424,203 cases of multidrug resistant tuberculosis globally among which 181,408 cases occurred in patients who had already been treated with standard (first line) therapy11.
This study was therefore carried out to determine the effectiveness of DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short course) on tuberculosis in the Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa state south-south Nigeria.

Setting Comprehensive Health Centre Nembe, is situated in Nembe, the headquarters of Nembe local government area, about eighty kilometers south-east of Yenagoa the capital of Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

The subjects of this report are those patients that reported to the TB treatment centre and those patients who were got through surveillance in the surrounding communities. A total of sixty seven positive cases were involved in the study. These cases were got over a four year period (from 2009 – 2012)

Laboratory analysis
Patients were given sterile wide mouthed plastic containers which they voided sputum into. Three specimens were collected from them over a two days period (spot, early morning and spot). Sputum analysis was done using the Ziehl-Neelson technique as described by cheesbrough12.

Method of drug administration
The strategy adopted here is the short course regiment that lasts for six months. Upon visit to the treatment center, Zeihl-Neelson(AFB) test is carried out. Treatment commences on patients who are newly diagnosed i.e. their sputum show smear positive. After the initial test, a second test (Zeihl- Neelson) is conducted upon revisit at the end of the second month of chemotherapy. The same thing applies
upon a second and third revisit which is at the end of the fifth and sixth months respectively.
For category 2 patients i.e. those who defaulted treatment or had a relapse, treatment is for seven months. Treatment on the intensive phase is for three months after which the second AFB test is done. The third and fourth AFB tests are done at the end of the fifth and seventh month of chemotherapy. Patients that absconded during treatment were not included in this work.

In 2009 eighteen new cases of sputum positives were recorded (six scanty and twelve +s). Upon first revisit i.e. after intensive phase, all eighteen persons were tested smear (AFB) negative. On second revisit the same feet was recorded. In the last revisit seventeen tested negative while one patient was AFB positive: table 1.

In 2010, seventeen persons were tested positive with varying degree of intensity of infection ( one scanty, eighty +s, four ++s and four +++s). sixteen persons tested smear negative at the end of the first revisit while person was tested positive. At the end of the fifth month of chemotherapy all fifteen persons tested smear negative (second revisit). After six months of chemotherapy one patient was tested smear positive while the other sixteen persons that continued their treatment to the end were tested negative. Conclusively, eleven persons were cured while one person was termed a “Treatment Failure”: table 2
Table 3 represents the summary of the 2011 treatment outcome. There were ten sputum smear positive cases in
2011. Eight of them were graded +, while one patient had 2+ and another 3+. Seven persons tested AFB negative upon the first revisit and one patients sputum was positive. In the second and third revisits, all eight patients had there AFB test negative. i.e. in 2011 eight persons were cured of tuberculosis in the treatment center.
Two scanty cases, twelve +s and eight cases of 2+s were recorded in the year 2012, twenty two cases in all. Three scanty cases were recorded in the first revisit stage, while nineteen tests were negative. In the second and third revisit all twenty two tests were smear negative. in 2012 twenty two persons were cured of tuberculosis in the treatment center. Table 4

In this four years under study, the success of this method of treatment has been so tremendous. Out of sixty seven cases that continued their treatment regiment to the end sixty four persons were cured and in only seven instances persons shows the ineffectiveness of the drugs by testing positive to the bacilli during chemotherapy. When the result was subjected to the chi-square test, it shows that there is a significant difference between those that are cured of TB by the dots strategy in the five years under study and those that were not cured by the strategy p<0.05, (234.845, df 3, assymp. Sig (2-sided) 0.000

Since with the DOTS strategy it is very difficult for patients to skip treatment, (which in most times is the cause of resistance), the researcher recommends that this strategy should be adopted, be it community based or family based)

We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to God almighty for his abundance grace to carry out this research and the strength to stand it all, without him nothing would be done. We also greatly appreciate the provost of the Bayelsa State College of Health technology, Dr Adias T. Charles for his inspiration and motivation. Also, the research and manpower development department of the College was involved with the funding. Finally we thank the staffs of the comprehensive health centre Nembe, Bayelsa State.



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