Prevalence of tuberculosis among malnourished children 6-59 months managed in Arua Regional Referral Hospital-2018-2021
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The purpose of this study was to contribute towards management of Tuberculosis (TB) amongst malnourished children below 5 years of age in Arua Regional Referral Hospital catchment area. The specific objectives were; 1) to determine the occurrence of Tuberculosis amongst children 6-59 months being managed for malnutrition in Arua Regional Referral Hospital (ARRH), 2) to determine the effects of early and late Tuberculosis diagnosis and initiation of treatment on the recovery of malnourished children in the Nutrition and Pediatric wards in ARRH, and 3) to measure the adherence to protocol by health workers that address the prevalence of Tuberculosis and malnutrition among children 6-59 months of age in ARRH. The study analysed 384 patients’ records and 5 key informants from Pediatric, Nutrition and TB units of ARRH. Findings revealed that the prevalence of TB among children admitted on nutrition programme in ARRH between 2018 and 2021 was 56%. Majority of the TB positive children (61.2%0 had severe acute malnutrition with Oedema (SAM/E) while the least 38.8% had only severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Early and late diagnosis of TB was found to be associated with cure of TB. There was no standard protocol followed by health workers at ARRH for TB case management except following the standard measures recommended by WHO which may not tally with specific challenges to ARRH. The study recommended that ARRH should conduct early TB screening to prevent adverse effects of TB in malnourished children.