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INTRODUCTION:Tuberculosis (TB) remains a serious public-health problem worldwide. The successful tuberculosis treatment was in low rate among the hill tribes in Thailand. This study aimed to determine factors associated with the unsuccessful tuberculosis treatment among the hill tribe TB patients in northern Thailand. METHODOLOGY:A retrospective cohort study was conducted using secondary data from the national TB reporting system. Data of newly registered hill tribe patients with TB receiving treatment were obtained from 18 government hospitals in Chiang Rai province, during 2014-2017. TB treatment outcomes and factors associated with unsuccessful were determined. RESULTS:A total of 770 hill tribe patients with TB registered during the study period. The majority were males aged 25-64 years. About 80% of the patients lived in rural areas and 53.9% worked in agriculture. The overall TB treatment success rate was 80.4%. Two factors were associated with unsuccessful TB treatment: ages 25-44 and ages 45-64 (aOR 3.14 (1.03-9.55) and 3.02 (1.01-9.03), respectively) and receiving antiretroviral drugs (proxy of HIV infection) (aOR 2.30 (1.02-5.15)). CONCLUSION:Although the TB treatment success rate among hill tribe patients did not reach the national goal, it was still higher than that of other Thai TB patients in the area. In Thailand, hill tribe people can access health services free-of-charge under the national health insurance. This could influence the successful treatment. However, some barriers need to be considered, such as the high default rate and high death rate among those with HIV coinfection.

Original publication





Journal of infection in developing countries

Publication Date





42 - 47


Department of Tropical Hygiene, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.