Tuberculosis (TB) is the second most important communicable disease in the world (1). According to the World Health Organization’s global TB Report, Ethiopia had an estimated prevalence of 211 cases per 100,000 populations in 2013, with an estimated incidence rate of 224 cases per 100,000 populations. The overall case detection is 62% (51%-74%). Moreover, the country is challenged by HIV TB coinfection with incidence rate of 24 per 100,000 populations. The TB treatment success rate among new patients registered in 2012, previously treated and MDR cases on second line drugs are 91%, 43% and 72% respectively (2).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the four primary goals of TB prevention and control are: to identify and treat persons who have active TB disease, to identify and evaluate exposed contacts, offering appropriate treatment as indicated and to test populations at high risk for TB infection and disease and provide treatment for latent TB infection (LTBI) to prevent progression to active TB (3). This can be done by identifying TB cases, ensuring adequate therapy, conducting overall planning and policy development, providing laboratory and diagnostic services and providing training and education for high risk populations. The amount of LTBI in Ethiopia ranges from 51% among blood donors in Addis Ababa to 63.7% in a study of the general population of Afar region, Northern Ethiopia (4, 5, 6).
Patients that are either diagnosed clinically or bacteriologically for active TB are included in Directly Observed Treatment-short course (DOTS). DOTS implies that patients are being observed when they take their medication, optimally every day (7).
However, the treatment outcome is challenged by different factors. Some of the factors include access to treatment, poor socioeconomic status, health service access and use, delays in seeking care and diagnosis and poor knowledge about the disease. The lack of TB culture and drug susceptibility testing and ambiguity in guideline recommendations especially for specific subgroups of patients are mentioned to negatively influence the treatment outcome in some regions of the country, including the study area (8, 9).
Hence, determining treatment outcome and identifying factors affecting treatment outcome will in turn contribute to the improvement of TB control programs and hence decrease TB morbidity and mortality. In Ethiopia few studies have conducted, showing different TB treatment outcome (10, 11). However, further information is required in all forms of TB and all age groups and on factors responsible for treatment outcome. Therefore, this study was aimed at assessing tuberculosis treatment outcome and factors affecting treatment outcome in all forms of TB patients that have been treated for TB in the health settings.