Setting: The Sudan National Tuberculosis Programme serves internally displaced and settled populations in Khartoum, Sudan.
Objectives: To investigate whether treatment in the camps is satisfactory compared to the settled population and to World Health Organization (WHO) standards, and to map certain characteristics of the clinics that may explain differences in treatment outcome.
Design: A register analysis was done on sputum smear-positive and retreatment tuberculosis patients registered consecutively in the first and second quarters of 2000. The nine health facilities from which the patients were selected were investigated using a questionnaire. State tuberculosis officers were interviewed about regional treatment policies.
Results: Two hundred and ninety-five internally displaced and 154 settled patients from respectively five and four clinics were included. The cure and completion rates among new sputum smear-positive cases were significantly higher among displaced (65% and 9.3%) than among settled persons (43.5% and 21%). Displaced groups had better adherence to 5 and 8 month smear examinations, and the quantity of health education was higher in the camps than among the settled population.
Conclusion: Tuberculosis treatment among the displaced population in Khartoum compares favourably with the neighbouring settled population, but both groups still face serious challenges to fulfil the WHO goals.