Prevalence of onchocerciasis in Edo State, Nigeria
Background: Onchocerciasis is endemic in 30 sub-Sahara African countries mainly in rural communities, a few LatinAmerican countries and Yemen.Approximately 123 million people are at risk of the disease worldwide, of which 99.0% of the 18 million people affectedby the disease live inAfrica.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of onchocerciasis in endemic areas in Edo State,Nigeria.
Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 658 respondents residing in onchocerciasis endemic areas of Edo State using a pre-tested interviewers’ administered questionnaire and examination of respondents for the presence of palpable nodules. Multistage sampling technique was used in selecting respondents. Data was analyzed using SPSS IBM version 21 software. Level of significance was set as p< 0.05.
Results: Majority of the respondents 251 (38.2%) were in the age group ≥ 55 years with a mean age (SD) of 48.8 (18.8) years. The presence of palpable nodules were observed in 57 (8.7%) of the respondents.Among those with palpable nodules, 41 (71.9%) was found on the scapula,12 (21.1%) on the rib cage and 4 (7.0%) on the elbow.
Conclusion: Findings from the study show that there has been a decline in the prevalence of onchocerciasis in the study area which could be attributed to the ongoingonchocerciasis control programme utilising the Community Directed Treatment with Ivermectin strategy in the Country. Sustainability of the programme is therefore necessary to eliminate onchocerciasis in the long run.
Keywords: Edo State, Nigeria, Onchocerciasis, Prevalence