Delayed diagnosis and ongoing transmission of leprosy in the post-elimination era in Boru Meda hospital, Ethiopia
Introduction: Following the recommendation of the Global Leprosy Strategy, Ethiopia targeted to reduce the incidence of new leprosy cases, and the proportion with severe disability (grade 2) from 13.6% in 2016 to < 1% in 2020. This study assessed the clinical profile of new leprosy cases and the sequelae of previously treated ones 20 years after leprosy was eliminated as a public health problem in the country.
Methodology: Hospital based cross sectional study was conducted by reviewing the medical records of all leprosy patients seen at the dermatology clinic of Boru Meda Hospital from August to December 2018.The data were captured using a standard data collection form.
Results: Over the study period, 57 (27.4%) new cases and 151 (72.6%) previously treated cases were seen.The median age was 44 years (interquartile range 32-57). Among the newly diagnosed cases, two were under the age of 15 years , 51 (89.5%) were multibacillary and 34 (59.6%) had grade 2 disability. This included visual impairment in 10 (17.5%) and neurological complications in 44 (77.2%). Of the 151 previously treated cases, 104 (68.9%) presented with disabilities, including 97 (64.2%) with grade 2. Amongst previously treated cases, 130 (86.1%) had neurological complications. In addition, 53 (35.1%) had vision impairment.
Conclusions: This study showed evidence of ongoing leprosy transmission and delayed diagnosis in the country. This calls for operational research to determine the underlying reasons and provide ways forward. At the same time, the high burden of disabilities in previously treated cases should be addressed.
Copyright (c) 2020 Seid Getahun Abdela, Ermias Diro Ejara, Feleke Tilahun Zewdu , Fentaw Tadese Berhe , Wendimagegn Enbiale Yeshaneh, Koku Sisay Tamirat , Hanock Teweya, Collins Timire, Johan van Griensven
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).