CONTACT DERMATITIS AT THE ITALIAN DERMATOLOGICAL CENTRE, MEKELE, ETHIOPIA
Cristaudo A., Padovese V., Terranova M., Morrone A.
Dermatological care for all “A basic human right”
Addis Abeba, November 1-4, 2006
Allergic and infectious diseases are the major skin problems among people in Developing Countries (DC). Manifestations of contact allergy are more difficult to observe in blacks as a result of the fact that erythema in dark-coloured skin is less visible. Some studies suggest that dark-coloured skin is less susceptible to eczematous contact sensitisation than light-coloured skin, but more prone to develop hyperpigmentation, infiltration and lichenification. A few epidemiological studies have addressed overall sensitisation rates in various racial groups and very little is known about sensitisation rate to particular substances.
On January 2005, a dermatological service with free admittance has been opened in a village near Mekellè in the Tigray region (Ethiopia). During the first 18 months’ medical activity (from January 2005 to June 2006) 14,510 patients have been examined in the hospital by Italian dermatologists.
Eczemas represented the 22.4% of the total diagnosis. 203 consecutive patients with a clinical diagnosis of contact and/or atopic dermatitis primarily attending or referred from general practitioners were investigated. The patients were tested with 20 allergens recommended by the Italian Society of Professional and Environmental Allergologic Dermatology (SIDAPA) provided by San Gallicano Scientific Institute in Rome. The author reports and analyzes the results of the
first study on contact dermatitis in northern Ethiopia.
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Yemaneberhan H, Flohr C, Lewis A, Bekele Z, Parry E, Williams HC, Britton J and Venn A.
Prevalence and associated factors of atopic dermatitis symptoms in rural and urban Ethiopia. Clin Exp Allergy 2004; 34:779-785