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Background: Reports on systematic evaluation of the impact of antiretroviral therapy(ART) on patients’ hospitalization in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and Tanzania in particular are scarce. We aimed at documenting the trends of hospital admissions at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) following scale up of free access to ART in Tanzania.
Methods: Records for all admissions at MNH from June 2005 to June 2015 were reviewed. We extracted data from Hospital Information Management System as well as from patients’ charts. Data extracted included diagnosis at discharge, reason for admission and thereafter assessed admission trends over the decade. We summarised the data as frequency and percentages. We compared proportions using Chi squared test, P<0.05 was deemed significant.
Results: Overall there were 209,101 admissions during the study period (June 2005 to June 2015) and 7864/209,101 (3.8%) were due to HIV infection. Whereas 598/4,519 (13.2%) of all admissions in 2005 were due to HIV, only 345/13,119 (2.6%) of admissions in 2015 were HIV-related; showing a significant drop over time (P value for trend < .001). Generally, females 3887/6679 (58.2%) were more likely to be admitted than males (41.8%). Median CD4 count for admitted HIV patients was 143 cells/μl. Majority of admissions occured in the medical wards 3643/5310 (68.6%). Discharge diagnoses were Tuberculosis 1396/6482 (21.5%), anaemias 1016/6482 (15.6 %), malignancies 789/6482(12.2%), CNS infections 541/6482 (8.3%) and chronic kidney disease 308/6482 (4.8%). Three leading AIDS defining malignancies among hospitalised patients included Kaposi’s sarcoma 380/789 (48.2%), carcinoma of the cervix 77/789 (9.8%), and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 44/789 (5.6%).
Conclusion: Despite drastic drop of HIV related admissions at Muhimbili National Hospital over the years, the infection remains a problem of the adults, largely females suffering from medical conditions and presenting with severe immunosuppression.Tuberculosis remained the most common opportunistic infection among hospitalized HIV infected patients. Anaemia and cancers became more important causes of admission than were diarrhoea which had been the most common among HIV infected patients in pre- ART era.