Date of Award
Master of Public Health
Community & Global Public Health; College of Health Sciences
Background: Tuberculosis remains a significant threat to global public health, despite advancements in treatment and detection in recent decades. Treatment regimens are unpleasant and time-consuming, particularly when the disease-causing strain is partially or completely drug-resistant. Approximately one-third of the global population is currently infected with tuberculosis, but the majority of these cases are dormant and non-contagious. These dormant cases are more difficult to diagnose, but if the immune system is compromised, as in the case of HIV/AIDS, the individual will transition to an active and contagious case of tuberculosis. Resistant strains are increasing around the world, making treatment of a potential future drug-resistant tuberculosis pandemic all the more difficult.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between trends in tuberculosis prevalence, and community education regarding the nature of the disease. This study analyzes data collected in the West African nation of Ghana, which is considered to have a high-burden tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS epidemic. The study period is between 2008 and 2014, and examines the relationship between accuracy of tuberculosis education and trends in tuberculosis prevalence, over that time period.
Methods: This secondary data analysis used data from the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, performed by the United States Agency for International Development. SPSS statistical software was used to relate tuberculosis prevalence numbers to correctness of tuberculosis-related responses in the Ashanti, Eastern and Northern regions of Ghana.
Results: Data analysis indicates limited improvement in correctness of tuberculosis-related education in the three districts, between 2008 and 2014. Ordinal regression indicates a weak or negligible difference in correctness of responses between the three districts under study.
Conclusion: While the DHS survey data is extensive, only a small proportion of the survey questions are related to tuberculosis knowledge. In addition, the data did not support a strong relationship between community levels of education, and tuberculosis prevalence trends.
Peterson, Brittany T., "The Germ of Death Itself: A Study of Tuberculosis and Community Education in Ghana" (2016). Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 10.