2013 Volume 66 Issue 4 Pages 263-268
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most serious public health challenges in Ethiopia. Indeed, Ethiopia ranks 7th among 22 countries with a high burden of TB worldwide. Both pulmonary TB and extrapulmonary TB (EPTB) are issues of concern. Ethiopia ranks 3rd in terms of the number of EPTB patients worldwide, with TB lymphadenitis (TBL) being the most common. According to the World Health Organization's Global TB Report 2009, the estimated number of TB patients in Ethiopia was 314,267 in 2007, with an estimated incidence rate of 378 patients per 100,000 population. Furthermore, 36% patients suffered from EPTB, with TBL accounting for 80% of these patients. In Ethiopia, pathological services, culture, and drug susceptibility testing for mycobacterium species are not available as routine tests, not even for cases with suspected infection by drug-resistant strains. Therefore, the management of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB in Ethiopia is currently unsatisfactory. Against this background, a high index of clinical doubt and timely use of diagnostic methods, prompt confirmation of diagnosis, and early initiation of specific anti-TB treatment are the key factors for the successful management of MDR-TB and TBL in Ethiopia.