The characteristics of children aged one month to 14 years with tuberculosis in public health faciities in juba city, south sudan
Tuberculosis is a specific, chronic, infectious, debilitating disease caused by infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis characterised by night sweats, fever, weight loss, chronic cough, and chest pain. The site for infection is mainly the lungs but any other body organ can be affected. The disease is mainly transmitted through inhalation of an infected droplet or aerosol from an infected individual when they cough, sneeze or talk and they pass the aerosol to the surrounding air, and a healthy person gets it by inhaling the infected air. The disease mainly affect the elderly, people with HIV/AIDS, those on medication which lowers their immunity, those living in overcrowded conditions, young malnourished children and any persons living under conditions which compromise their immune system. Tuberculosis (TB) is a public health problem in South Sudan contributing to 228 cases per 100,000 populations. There were 1,652 deaths every year for every 100,000 people. This increase in cases was as a result of the prolonged civil war of which the children could mostly be affected in light of the high number of cases in adults. Cross-sectional study on the characteristics of children under the age of 15 years with tuberculosis was therefore an important approach that will enable strengthen control programmes on tuberculosis with regard to childhood tuberculosis. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to establish the characteristics of children under the age of 15 years with tuberculosis in public health facilities in Juba, South Sudan. Study setting: Juba, tuberculosis clinics which were located at three areas which are Juba Teaching Hospital, Kator PHCC and Munuki PHCC. Study design and Methodology: Hospital based cross-sectional study of children who met the inclusion criteria. Study population: 1 month to 14 years children with diagnosis of TB using WHO diagnostic guide-line and meeting the inclusion criteria. Data analysis: quantitative data were analysed using Epi Info 3.5.4 and qualitative data were analysed thematically. Results: a total of 330 children aged between one month and fourteen years and their parents/caregivers took part in the study. On analysis, history of caregivers staying in an IDP camp gave an estimated RR of 1.59 with a 95% CI (1.27, 1.96) and a P-value of 0.00015 showing a significant association between staying in an IDP camp and history of tuberculosis in the family and occurrence of the disease in a child. Conclusion: Staying in an IDP camp showed a significant association with tuberculosis occurrence in a child. The rest of the factors need to be tested in further studies to help the programmes to advocate for childhood tuberculosis to be integrated into existing programmes with intense focus. Recommendations: mechanisms/guidelines should be put in place to screen and treat people staying in IDP camps or with a history of having stayed in an IDP camp for TB.