Sleeping sickness (ss) in the Abraka Belt: a preliminary geographical description of the disease focus.

  • L U Airauhi
  • K Akhigbe
  • A N Ofili
  • O D Airauhi


Sleeping sickness (SS) in the Abraka belt: a preliminary geographical description of the disease focus.Annals Biomedical Sciences 2002;1:111-117.This retrospective study provides an analysis of the epidemiological data on Sleeping Sickness (SS) cases between January 1999 and December 2001 at the Baptist Medical Centre (BMC) Eku, Nigeria, as well as a preliminary geographical documentation of the disease focus in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. Twenty six parasitologically confirmed SS cases by microscopic examination of blood, lymph node aspirate or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)) made up of 14 (53.8%) males and 12 (46.2%) females aged between 0 – 70years (mean 29.88 +18.89), were seen during the period of study. Peak incidence occurred at age 0 – 20 years with 11 (42.3%) cases. There were more males (53.8%) than females (46.2%). Fifteen (57.7%) of the patients had stage I infection with positive results for blood smear and lymph node aspirate microscopy, while 11 (42.3%) had stage II infection with trypanosomes in their CSF. This study reveals that the Abraka Sleeping Sickness focus (ASSF) is a stretch of forested wetland along the margin of the river Ethiope located at the boundary between Edo and Delta States, South South of Nigeria between latitudes 5o 30̀̀ and 6o 30́ North of Equator. It is an area of rainforest vegetation with an average temperature of 27oC, made up of 9 endemic villages namely Eku, Orhuoka, Abraka, Ugono, Kwale Obiaraku, Umuebu, Urhonigbe and Sanubi with an estimated population at risk of 56,851. This update of the epidemiological status of SS in the Abraka belt represents an effort towards the development of control measure against the disease in the area.

Keywords: Sleeping sickness, Abraka focus, Nigeria.

Annals of Biomedical Science Vol. 1 (2) 2002: pp. 111-117

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-6569