Are official reports sufficient? - Official registration rates of patients with tuberculosis in Sivas, Middle Anatolia
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Purpose: The main goal of this retrospective study was to re-evaluate all available records of clinical and laboratory data of patients with tuberculosis (TB) in Sivas province, Middle Anatolia, Turkey. Methods: TB registration data held at health institutions in Sivas province were compared and matched with data obtained from the local official TB registries from January 2000 to December 2001. Results: Of the 536. TB cases found in 2000 and 2001, 255 (47.6%) were officially registered. Of the 127 cases with smear-positive pulmonary TB (PTB), only nine cases labelled as smear-positive were registered in local dispensaries. The incidence of unregistered cases with smear-positive PTB found by this study was approximately 40-fold and eightfold greater than the incidence of registered cases for 2000 and 2001, respectively. Conclusion: There were many more unofficially recorded TB patients compared with officially recorded cases in Sivas province between 2000 and 2001. The results of this study are disappointing and alarming for Turkey's national TB control programme, at least for its regional applications. (c) 2006 The Royal Institute of Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.