An Epidemio-Dermatological Assessment Of Onchocercal Skin Diseases In Awhum, Enugu State, Nigeria

A cross-sectional epidermiological and dermatological survey of onchocercal skin diseases (OSD) and the associated itching was conducted in Awhum, Enugu State, Nigeria. For quantitative data, compounds in each village were randomly selected and within the selected compound every individual in each household was systematically examined using the non-invasive nodule palpation technique. A nodular prevalence of 21.3% was recorded indicating the community was mesoendemic for onchocerciasis. No absolute control village was observed and the inter-village nodular prevalence was statistically significant (p<0.05). Nine hundred and ninety nine (86.0%) subjects in the study population (n = 1161) had onchocerciasis-induced reactive and non-reactive morphological skin diseases (Acute papular onchodermatitis, APOD; chronic papular onchodermatitis; CPOD; lichenified onchodermatitis; LOD; depigmentation, DPM; Atrophy, ATR.) to varying degrees. Concomitant prevalence of OSD with nodules affected 20.0% of OSD-positive patients. The most prevalent cutaneous skin change was LOD which affected 52.03% of study population (n=1157). All reactive morphological skin changes were most prevalent among the younger age groups. While APOD was most prevalent (38.5%) in the 5-9 years age bracket, CPOD peaked at age 19 years and LOD increased till the age of 39 years. Females appeared to be more disposed to atrophy attacks than the males. Prevalence of troublesome itching was associated with the reactive and non-reactive skin diseases (Odds ratio=1.36). Key Words: Mesoendemic, reactive, onchodermatitis, onchocerciasis, troublesome itching, nodules Bio-Research Vol.2(2) 2004: 46-53

 N Ivoke