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Background and Aims: Children in contact with adults having pulmonary Tuberculosis (TB) are vulnerable to TB infection and hence contact tracing and screening is important for early detection of infection. However, there are few contacts traced and the prevalence and risk factors for transmission are not well studied. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of infection and risk factors associated with TB transmission among under five children in household contact with adult pulmonary TB patients.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out in three health facilities with a high TB burden in Mbale District, Eastern Uganda involving all under five household contacts of adults with pulmonary tuberculosis recorded in the TB register from October 2018 to March 2019 and still on treatment. Structured questionnaires were administered to the index clients to obtain their demographic and clinical data about TB, HIV as well as information on the children. Children were screened using the intensive case finding forms to identify presumptive cases.
Results: The total number of index TB Clients line listed were 70. Number of clients traced was 38, 21 (%) of whom had children under five years and a total of 33 children were identified. The number of presumptive cases was 9/33 (27.27%). 77.8% of the presumptive cases were living in poorly ventilated houses.
Conclusion: The study identified children with presumptive TB and various risk factors for TB transmission. Intensive contact tracing can therefore help reduce TB transmission within the communities. It is recommended to undertake studies aiming at improving contact tracing and strategies to eliminate the risk factors to TB transmission.
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