Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide. Mozambique is one of the countries worst affected by the disease, with a significant failure rate in the treatment of TB patients.
In order to develop effective TB treatment regimens even for the most vulnerable groups within a population, it is necessary to identify the risk factors associated with treatment failure. In this study we evaluated the treatment of 300 TB patients (32% of whom were female, and an average age of 31) in the city of Beira and analyzed those factors.
The standard six-month treatment regimen failed in 62 of the patients (20.6%). Our multivariate analysis associated this failure with their low levels of education and income: almost half of them, in fact, had received no education at all and almost 70% had a monthly income of less than 50 Euros. These determinants lead to both a lack of knowledge about and attention to health issues and limited access to health care and services. As a result, the drugs used to treat the disease are sometimes administered inappropriately, with either inadequate or excessive dosages. Thus a multi-sectoral approach is called for in the treatment of TB, one that takes into account not only pharmacological aspects but also the socio-economic predictors linked to treatment failure.