care seeking

This is a mixed method cross-sectional study conducted in seven regions and two city administrations. We used multistage cluster sampling to randomly select 40 health centers and interviewed 21 TB patients per health center. We also conducted qualitative interviews to understand the reasons for delay. Of the total 844 TB patients enrolled, the median (IQR) patient, diagnostic and treatment initiation delays were 21 (10–45), 4 (2–10) and 2 (1–3) days respectively. The median (IQR) of total delay was 33 (19–67) days; 72.3% (595) of the patients started treatment after 21 days of the onset of the first symptom. TB patients’ delay in seeking care remains a challenge due to limited community interventions, cost of seeking care, prolonged diagnostics and treatment initiation. Therefore, targeted community awareness creation, cost reduction strategies and improving diagnostic capacity are vital to reduce delay in seeking TB care in Ethiopia.

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