Visceral Leishmaniasis Treatment Outcome and Associated Factors in Northern Ethiopia.
Background: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), one of the most neglected tropical diseases, is placing a huge burden on Ethiopia. Despite the introduction of antileishmanial drugs, treatment outcomes across regions are variable due to drug resistance and other factors. Thus, understanding of VL treatment outcomes and its contributing factors helps decisions on treatment. However, the magnitude and the risk factors of poor treatment outcome are not well studied in our setting. Therefore, our study was designed to assess treatment outcomes and associated factors in patients with VL.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in VL patients admitted between June 2016 and April 2018 to Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Data was collected through chart review of patient records. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with poor treatment outcome.
Results: A total of 148 VL patients were included in the study. The mean age (SD) of the patients was 32.86 (11.9) years; most of them (94.6%) were male patients. The proportion of poor treatment outcome was 12.1%. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that long duration of illness (> four weeks) (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 6.1 [95% confidence interval (CI); 1.3-28.6], p=0.02) and concomitant tuberculosis (TB) infection (AOR 4.6 [95% CI; 1.1-19.1], p=0.04) were the independent predictors of poor treatment outcome.
Conclusions: Poor treatment outcome was observed in a considerable proportion of VL patients. Long duration of illness and coinfection with TB were associated with poor VL treatment outcome. Hence, early diagnosis and effective prompt treatment are important to improve treatment outcomes among VL patients. Special attention should also be given in the treatment of VL/TB coinfected patients in our setting.