A MEDICO-SOCIAL ROLE OF HOMELESS PERSONS IN THE SPREAD OF TUBERCULOSIS
To investigate a medico-social role of homeless persons in the spread of tuberculosis in order to develop new methods of prevention. Data on 346 homeless persons with pulmonary tuberculosis were extracted from records of the Bishkek city Tuberculosis Hospital and the Tuberculosis Dispensary and analyzed using Student’s t test with an aid of MS Excel program package. The rate of sputum positivity was 76.9 ± 2.3?% in all homeless cases and 80.5 ± 2.8?% in newly diagnosed homeless patients. The rate of chronic forms of tuberculosis such as a fibrous-cavernous form was 36.1?% in homeless persons. Treatment completion rate was 82 (38.0?%), with a cure rate of 58 (70.7?%) and 24 cases (29.3?%) considered incurable. Medical attention was most frequently sought by the age group of homeless patients 40-49 years. A high level of morbidity was found in this population cohort. With their level of bacillus carriage, homeless persons present an epidemiologic reservoir of infection which maintains high levels of tuberculosis incidence, prevalence and mortality.