Objective: Namibia faces a dual burden of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB). In
2010, HIV prevalence was 18.8%, the TB case notification rate was 634 cases per
100,000 population and the TB/HIV co-infection rate was 58%. There were 372
cases of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in 2009. The objective of this study was to
assess the prevalence, profile and outcome of adverse events (AEs) associated
with treatment of DR-TB and to explore possible influences of HIV disease on the
occurrence of adverse events.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. After ethical
approval, data were collected from treatment records of all patients treated for
DR-TB at the study facility between January 2008 and February 2010 using a
structured data collection form.
Results: A total of 141 adverse events of varying severity were experienced
in 90% (53/59) of patients.The TB/HIV co-infection rate was 53% (n=31). The
prevalence of gastrointestinal tract adverse events (abdominal pains,
constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting) was 64%, tinnitus 45%, joint pain
28%and decreased hearing 25%. Abdominal pains, rash, nausea, decreased hearing
and joint pain were more common in HIV infected than in HIV uninfected patients.
Conclusions: Adverse events of varying severity are common during treatment
of DR-TB, particularly in the intensive phase of therapy. Some adverse events
were more prevalent in DR-TB patients co-infected with HIV. The study concludes
that the characteristics and risk factors of serious adverse events should be