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J Pharm Policy Pract. 2017 Dec 1;10:36. doi: 10.1186/s40545-017-0124-8. eCollection 2017.

Evaluating treatment outcomes and durations among cases of smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis in Yemen: a prospective follow-up study.

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School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.
School of Pharmacy, Lebanese International University, Taiz, Yemen.



Evaluating outcomes after tuberculosis (TB) treatment can help identify the primary reasons for treatment success or failure. However, Yemen has a treatment success rate that remains below the World Health Organization's target. This study aimed to identify factors that were associated with unsuccessful treatment and prolonged treatment (>1 year).


Newly diagnosed cases of smear-positive pulmonary TB were prospectively followed at two centers (Taiz and Alhodidah, Yemen) between April 2014 and March 2015. Standardized forms were used to obtain information from the patients regarding their socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, treatment duration, and TB-related information. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify factors that were associated with unsuccessful treatment and prolonged treatment (>1 year).


The study included data from 273 cases of newly diagnosed TB, with treatment being successful in 227 cases (83.1%) and unsuccessful in 46 cases (16.9%). Among the 46 patients with unsuccessful treatment, 29 patients (10.6%) stopped treatment, 6 patients (2.2%) transferred to another facility, 6 patients (2.2%) experienced treatment failure, and 5 patients (1.8%) died. The multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that unsuccessful treatment was associated with female sex, illiterate status, and the presence of comorbidities. Prolonged treatment durations were associated with living in a rural area, smoking, chewing khat, a cough that lasted for >3 weeks at the beginning of treatment, and bilateral cavities during radiography.


These results confirm that the treatment success rate in Yemen is lower than the World Health Organization's target for smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis. Targeting the risk factors that we identified may help improve treatment outcomes. Furthermore, it may not be prudent to re-treat patients using first-line TB drugs after an initial treatment failure.


Comorbidities; Khat; Treatment duration; Treatment success; Tuberculosis; United Nations Children’s emergency fund (UNESCO); Yemen

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