Volume 103, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Tuberculosis (TB) remains to be the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the developing world. Early TB case detection (TCD) and treatment of infectious cases is vital to reduce the TB burden. The objective of this study was to identify possible barriers to TCD in East Gojjam Zone, northwest Ethiopia. The study used a descriptive phenomenological research method. The study participants included 21 TB patients, six TB control officers, and 40 health workers (HWs) selected by a heterogeneous purposive sampling technique. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect data. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, translated, and thematically analyzed using NVivo 12 software (developed by QSR International Qualitative Software Developer, Melbourne, Australia). The study participants identified numerous barriers to TCD which were grouped into three major themes and 14 subthemes: 1) patient-related barriers including rural residence, low income, poor health literacy, and health-seeking delay; 2) healthcare system barriers grouped into two subthemes: HWs barriers (shortage of HWs, lack of training access, and low level of knowledge and skills) and health facility barriers (health service delay, using only passive TCD strategy, poor health education provision, and lack of regular supervision and timely feedback); 3) sociocultural and environmental barriers which included stigma and discrimination, lack of health information sources, poor transportation infrastructure, and community resistance. In conclusion, the TCD activity which is one of the pillars of the TB control program has been confronted with several patient-related, environmental, and healthcare system–related barriers. Improving community health literacy, scale-up access, and improving quality of TB diagnostic services, conducting regular supportive supervision and provision of timely feedback, arranging regular refresher training and staff motivation and recruitment schemes, and engaging local health officials and political leaders to address budgetary problems for TB and transportation infrastructure challenges are imperative interventions to enhance the TCD efforts in the study area.


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  • Received : 19 Jan 2020
  • Accepted : 14 Jun 2020
  • Published online : 03 Aug 2020
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