Background: Tuberculosis was the deadliest infectious agent before covid-19; 1.5 million deaths in 2020. Despite, a variety, of easy and cheap diagnostic tools, detection rates still fall below 90%; diagnosis delays are long exceeding 30 days in many continents. This study aimed to determine risk factors for pulmonary TB diagnosis delays in Mali.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Bamako to include pulmonary TB patients at treatment initiation centers. Verbal consent was obtained before the interview. Demographics, clinical, treatment cost, and patient, medical, and diagnostic delays were computed using SPSS 25.0 considering a significance level p < 0.05.
Results: In total 266 patients were included, 80.8% were male, mean age was ± 12 years, primary education level was 50.4%, treatment cost before diagnosis was 100 - 200 thousand CFA in 65.4%, smokers were 42.1%, median patient, medical and total diagnostic delays were 58, 57 and 114 days respectively. Education level below university, social reasons, and non-request of health workers were identified as independent risk factors for diagnostic delay > 100 days in Mali.
Conclusion: Diagnostic delay is relatively very long in Mali, there is an urgent need for identification and action to shorten the delays to limit the transmission chain and avoid disabling pulmonary sequels.
Keywords: Delays; Diagnosis; Mali; Risk-Factors; Tuberculosis.