The Non-Compliance to Tuberculosis Treatment Among Patients Suffering Tuberculosis In Imo State

Filed in Articles by on November 11, 2022


Tuberculosis is a problem of global importance among communicable diseases. It is the second leading disease-causing death worldwide killing nearly 2 million people each year in Nigeria.

Non-compliance of patients on tuberculosis treatment in an irregular and unreliable way has greatly caused the risk of treatment failure, relapse, and the development of drug-resistance tuberculosis strains. There are varieties of reasons why patients fail to take their medications. The center for disease control (2008) states the following:

  • The patient’s complaint is that medicines must be taken with an empty stomach to facilitate absorption. This can be difficult for patients to follow especially waking up an hour earlier than usual every day just to take medicine on empty stomach.
  • Another complaint is the size of the tablet
  • A side-effect of the drugs can lead to patients not complying with their treatment.
  • Issues on denial, stigmatization, emotional distress, cultural and lifestyle factors make patients not take their treatment.
  • Poverty, transportation, religion, and attitude of health workers contribute to non-compliance of patients on tuberculosis treatment.

Non-compliance of patients on tuberculosis treatment is a serious problem for national tuberculosis control programs (2007) states that this case tends to have higher morbidity and mortality rates when compared to those who are not cured. They remain infectious for a prolonged period of time, hence affected patient continues to transmit the disease in the community.

World Health Organization (2009) has estimated that 2 billion people have latent tuberculosis disease which has killed 1.7 million people in Nigeria. In Nigeria, 81% of patients are non-compliant to treatment for more than one month before presenting at chest clinics.

The patients visit traditional healers and have a low level of knowledge about the disease or due to the high cost of treatment, transportation, and poverty.

World health organization (2013)reported worldwide that some countries like South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Malaysia, Ghana, China, the United States of America, and Canada were implementing the directly- observed treatment short-course strategy by the end of 2013.

World health organization 2015) currently recommends a case detection rate of 70% and a treatment success rate of 85% for all tuberculosis cases.


Despite the global effort to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis worldwide through mass media, there is still non-compliance to treatment which may be due to the bulkiness of the drugs and taking the drugs on an empty stomach.

Noticing the incidence of tuberculosis on orthodox and other clinics motivates the researcher to carry out research to determine the reasons for non-compliance of patients to tuberculosis treatment.


World Health Organization. Global tuberculosis control: a short update to the 2009 report. Geneva: world health organization; 2009.p. 39.
World Health Organization. Tuberculosis: a global emergency. Case Notification update. Geneva: world health organization; 1994. P. 26.
World Health Organization. WHO tuberculosis programmes: framework for effective tuberculosis  control . Geneva: world health organization; 1994. P. 13. (WHO/TB/94.179).
United Nations. The millennium development goals report 2010. New York, NY: united Nations; 2010. http:mdgs, report 2010 en. Pdf, accessed on 25 august 2017.
World health organization. Global tuberculosis control: surveillance.Planning, financing; WHO report 2005. Geneva: world health organization 2005. P . 24718. national population commission.
Nigeria demographic and health survey 2008 Abuja: national population commission, federal republic of Nigeria; 2010. P. 630.www.web

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