Rural poverty and delayed presentation to tuberculosis services in Ethiopia

Alexis Cambanis, Mohammed A Yassin, Andy Ramsay, S Bertel Squire, Isabel Arbide, Luis E Cuevas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


To measure time to initial presentation and assess factors influencing the decision to seek medical attention, we interviewed 243 patients undergoing sputum examination for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) at a rural health centre near Awassa, Ethiopia. A structured questionnaire was used. Median (mean+SD) patient delay was 4.3 (9.8+12.4) weeks. Delays over 4 weeks were significantly associated with rural residence, transport time over 2 h, overnight travel, transport cost exceeding US $1.40, having sold personal assets prior to the visit, and use of traditional medicine. The majority of patients cited economic or logistical barriers to health care when asked directly about causes of delay. Case-finding strategies for TB must be sensitive to patient delay and health systems must become more accessible in rural areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-5
Number of pages6
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Developing Countries
  • Ethiopia
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Poverty
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health/statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Tuberculosis/diagnosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Rural poverty and delayed presentation to tuberculosis services in Ethiopia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this