Tuberculosis in the Prisons in the Republic of Macedonia, 2008-2017

  • Biljana Ilievska-Poposka Institute for Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis, Skopje
  • Maja Zakoska Institute for Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis, Skopje
  • Karolina Pilovska-Spasovska Institute for Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis, Skopje
  • Ljiljana Simonovska Institute for Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis, Skopje
  • Vladimir Mitreski Institute for Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis, Skopje
Keywords: Tuberculosis (TB), prisons, prevalence


BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) is a major health problem in penitentiary institutions (prisons), and its prevalence was reported to be multiple times higher compared to that of the general population. Conditions such as overcrowding, malnutrition and limited access to medical care which often exist in prisons increase the risk of reactivation, transmission and poor prognosis of tuberculosis disease among inmates.

AIM: The main objective of this study was to present the epidemiological situation of TB in the prisons from 2008 till 2017 in the Republic of Macedonia (RM).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: There are 13 different penitentiary institutions in the RM with a total capacity to house 2600 prisons inmates. Management of TB in the prisons is part of the National TB program in RM, and the Institute for Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis in Skopje is in charge of it. All prisoners with TB in the RM are registered in the Central Register for TB within this Institute. We use the data from the Central Register, and with the method of description, we present the epidemiological data and clinical characteristics of the prisoners about TB in prisons in RM for 10 years’ period.

RESULTS: From 2008 till 2017 there were 58 TB cases registered in prisons in total. The absolute number of TB cases in the prisons is not big, but the incidence rate is higher than 100/100,000 population, or several times bigger than in the general population (except in 2012 and 2016). In 2017 there were 10 TB cases registered in the prisons with an incidence rate of 323.9/100,000 population which is many times higher than in the general population in RM. The majority of inmates with TB were young men with risk factors for TB infection or TB disease before incarceration such as drug abuse, alcohol, smoking, but there was no association with HIV infection. The most of the patients diagnosed in prison were new cases (54), secondary TB due to reactivation from the latent TB infection or secondary TB due to the environment. From 2008-2017 there were 82.75% successfully treated TB cases in the prisons, and there were no cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

CONCLUSION: The results from our study showed that the TB control in the prisons in RM is good with satisfactory treatment outcome. On the other hand, the high incidence rate showed that the prisons in RM provide conditions for TB transmission and with other additional risk factors present place for high TB prevalence. The study findings can be used for planning more effective TB control interventions for the prison population in RM.


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How to Cite
Ilievska-Poposka B, Zakoska M, Pilovska-Spasovska K, Simonovska L, Mitreski V. Tuberculosis in the Prisons in the Republic of Macedonia, 2008-2017. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2018Jun.22 [cited 2020Nov.27];6(7):1300-4. Available from:
E - Public Health