Turkish Archives of Pediatrics
Original Article

The Spectrum of Childhood Tuberculosis in an African Setting: A Hospital-Based Experience in Bamenda, Cameroon


The University of BamendaFaculty of Health Sciences, Bambili, Cameroon


Regional Hospital Bamenda, Cameroon

Turk Arch Pediatr 2023; 58: 154-158
DOI: 10.5152/TurkArchPediatr.2023.22228
Read: 788 Downloads: 328 Published: 01 March 2023

Objective: Difficulty in confirming childhood tuberculosis leads to late diagnosis and subsequently poor outcomes. This study aimsto determinethe epidemiology, clinical features, diagnostic modalities, and outcomes of childhood tuberculosis at the Bamenda Regional Hospital.

Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study involving childrenaged between0-15 years with confirmed tuberculosis fromJanuary 1, 2012, to December 31, 2021. We excluded children without proven tuberculosis diagnosis. Data were obtained from files using predesigned data collection forms.

Results: In total, 108 proven cases of childhood tuberculosis were managed in our study period out of which 86 fulfilled our inclusion criteria and were recruited. This gave a prevalence of 4.5% at the Bamenda Regional Hospital. The mean age of the children was 9.6±4.5years. We had a sex ratio of 0.8. The most frequent presenting symptoms were cough (98.8%) and fever (87.2%). Gene Xpert confirmed the diagnosis in 96.2% of the children, smear microscopy in 88.5%, and histopathological analysis in 100% of biopsied specimens. Non-cavitating lesions (43.6%) were the most frequent chest x-ray finding. The majority of the childhood tuberculosis cases were pulmonary (96.5%). Most children (76.7%) were cured and the mortality was 11.3%. The risk of death of children younger than 5 years (P= .015)wasincreased 9 times.

Conclusions: We found the prevalence of childhood tuberculosis to be 4.5% at the Bamenda Regional Hospital. Most children presented with cough, fever, and weight loss. There was a high cure rate and low mortality, and age less than 5 years significantly increased the risk of mortality.

Cite this article as: Chiabi A, Wirngo T, Yves Bassong P, et al. The spectrum of childhood tuberculosis in an African setting: A hospital-based experience in Bamenda, Cameroon. Turk Arch Pediatr. 2023;58(2):154-158.

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