Tuberculosis knowledge, attitudes, and practices among northern Ethiopian prisoners: Implications for TB control efforts

Kelemework Adane*, Mark Spigt, Laturnus Johanna, Dorscheidt Noortje, Semaw Ferede Abera, Geert-Jan Dinant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review



Although awareness is an important component in tuberculosis (TB) control, we do not know how much Ethiopian prisoners know about TB. This study assessed the level of knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of prisoners about TB in eight northern Ethiopian prisons.


Data were collected cross-sectionally from 615 prisoners using a standardized questionnaire between March and May 2016. The outcome variables were defined considering the basic elements about TB.


Out of 615 prisoners, only 37.7% mentioned bacteria as a cause of TB while 21.7% related TB to exposure to cold wind. Eighty-eight per cent correctly mentioned the aerial route of TB transmission and 27.3% had perceived stigma towards TB. The majority (63.7%) was not aware of the possibility of getting multi-drug-resistant strains when they would not adhere to treatment. Overall, only 24% knew the basic elements about TB, 41% had favorable attitudes, and 55% had a good practice. Prisoners who were urban residents were generally more knowledgeable than rural residents (adjusted OR = 2.16; 95% CI = 1.15-4.06). Illiterates were found to be less knowledgeable (adjusted OR = 0.17; 95% CI = 0.06-0.46), less likely to have a favorable attitude (adjusted OR = 0.31; 95% CI = 0.15-0.64), and less good practice (adjusted OR = 0.35; 95% CI = 0.18-0.69). Significant differences were also observed between the different study prisons.


Knowledge of prisoners regarding the cause of TB and consequences of non-adherence to TB treatment was low. Knowledge on the transmission, symptoms, and prevention was fairly high. Health education interventions, focused on the cause and the translation of the knowledge to appropriate practices, are needed in all the study prisons. Special attention should be given to less educated prisoners, and to prisons with a high number of prisoners and those in remote areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0174692
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2017




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