LYMPHATIC FILARIASIS IN TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA
Terranova M., Padovese V., Morrone A.
Dermatological care for all “A basic human right”
Addis Abeba, November 1-4, 2006
Background: Lymphatic filariasis (LF) represents a major public health problem in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It causes permanent disability worldwide.
It affects about 120 million people in more than 80 countries and is responsible for debilitating genital diseases in about 25 million people and lymphedema and elephantiasis in an additional 15 million persons in tropics and subtropics.. A Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) started in 26 countries is providing mass administration of antielmintic drugs.
Patients and Methods: We report our experience of 13 patients observed in the Italian Dermatological Hospital (IDH) in Mekelle, capital of Tigray, the northern region of Ethiopia, between January 2005 and August 2006. All patients presented acute or chronic episodes of lymphadenitis of the groin or irreversible elephantiasis of the lower limbs or scrotum. Bloods film evidenced the presence of microfilaremia.
Results: Thirteen diagnosis of LF were done and treatment with diethylcarbamazine PO was started.
Conclusions: Ethiopia is considered an endemic area for LF by the WHO. The GPELF is not yet active in this country. Frequency of LF cases and consequent permanent disability seen in IDH recommend to include Ethiopia inside the GPELF to improve the health of poor people and enhance health systems.
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