Rural-Urban Inequities in Tuberculosis-Related Practices in Equatorial Guinea


Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the leading causes of mortality from a single infectious disease agent. Equatorial Guinea is a country with high estimated TB incidence in 2021 (275 cases per 100,000 population) and low TB case detection (42%). Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial for TB control. Failure to seek adequate health care increases the disease’s transmission and leads to poor treatment outcome, the mortality, even for easily manageable conditions. Information regarding community management of TB and treatment-seeking patterns in Equatorial Guinea is rare. The aim of this study was to explore differences in TB health-seeking behaviour among urban and rural population TB cases in Equatorial Guinea and the factors associated with this behaviour.

Methods: A national cross-sectional study of 770 household caregivers was conducted in 2020 in Equatorial Guinea using multistage stratified sampling. The 284 caregivers that reported having had a TB case in their family were included in this study. A practice index was created. Poisson regression with robust variance was performed with the practices index as dependent variable to assess the factors associated with the health-seeking behaviour.

Results: Most of the cases (65%) have had good TB health-seeking practices. However, 23.2% of TB cases reported having abandoned treatment before 6 months. A higher probability of having good TB practices was observed with being women, aged and living in rural area. Those who were TB cases themselves have heard about TB on the radio, and had high knowledge about TB, hand also good practices.

Conclusions: Disparities in tuberculosis health-seeking behaviour between rural and urban populations highlight the challenges existing in the fight against this infectious disease. The National Tuberculosis Control Program has to reinforce the health system needs to strengthen the follow-up of TB patients taking into account the population at risk of inappropriate TB behaviour.

Trial registration: Not applicable.

Keywords: Health-seeking behaviour; Practices; Treatment abandon; Tuberculosis.


Ayala, A., Ncogo, P., Eyene, J., García, B., Benito, A., & Romay-Barja, M. (2023). Rural-Urban Inequities in Tuberculosis-Related Practices in Equatorial Guinea. Journal of epidemiology and global health13(4), 886–894.
Tags Treatment
Geographies Papua New Guinea

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