The burden of tuberculosis (TB) in children reflects continuing and recent transmission within a population. This study aimed to identify spatiotemporal and socio-climatic factors associated with paediatric TB in north-western Ethiopia. Multivariate Poisson regression models were computed using a Bayesian framework. Estimates of parameters were generated using Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation. A total of 2,240 children aged under 15 years diagnosed with TB during the years 2013- 2016 were included in the analysis. The annual TB incidence rates were 44 and 28 per 100,000 children, for children aged under 15 and 5 years, respectively. Spatial clustering of TB was observed in the border area of north-western Ethiopia. The spatio-temporal transmission of childhood TB was found to be associated with district level socio-climatic factors such as urbanisation [relative risk (RR): 1.8; 95% credible interval (CrI): 1.2, 2.6], lower educational status (RR: 1.5; 95% CrI: 1.0, 2.1), a high percentage of internal migration (RR: 1.3; 95% CrI: 1.0, 1.6), high temperature (RR: 1.3; 95% CrI: 1.0, 1.7) and high rainfall (RR: 1.5; 95% CrI: 1.1, 2.0). We conclude that interventions targeting hotspot districts with a high proportion of childhood TB are important to reduce TB transmission in northwest Ethiopia.
Keywords: Epidemiology; Ethiopia; Paediatric; Transmission; Tuberculosis.