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An 8-year Retrospective Study on Trends of Incidence and Treatment Outcome of Bacteriologically Confirmed Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Libya

Mawaheb Shelli, Fatima Almhalhel and Mohamed Alfurjani

Background: Libya is a middle burden TB country. The country has been suffering from a civil war that erupted in 2011, affecting the health system infrastructure tremendously, this descriptive study showcases the TB program recorded data before and after 2011 events, in order to give an insight on the impact the political situation had on the TB control program and to elaborate on TB epidemic in the country, and to describe the disease pattern focusing mainly on bacteriological confirmed pulmonary TB incidence and treatment outcome. Study design: This is an 8 years national Descriptive Retrospective Epidemiological Study of TB in Libya between the years (2007-2014) using previously recorded data from the NTP using Microsoft office excel worksheet, to display the total number of newly notified TB cases, classify them according to their type, and finally verify their treatment outcome. Results: TB incidence has markedly decreased over the study period, throughout the mentioned years bacteriological confirmed pulmonary TB is the most prevalent form of the illness. Additionally, an important finding is the decrease in treatment success rates (TSR) with an opposite increase in numbers of cases that are lost to follow up. These finding are merely a mirror reflection of the country’s ongoing political dilemma and the impact it has on the health system. Conclusion: The Libyan health system like many other services in the country has been adversely affected by ongoing conflict and political unrest. The National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) should take measures and implement a strategic emergency plan to increase case notification rate (CNR). Also Implementation of Directly observed therapy DOTS may most likely facilitate high treatment completion rates and bacteriologic evidence of cure, which could eventually have a role in enhancing TSR and decreasing the numbers of cases that are lost to follow up. However, it's evident that without continuous regular un-interrupted anti-TB drug supply, it's difficult to reach an improvement in these results.