Onchocerciasis Amongst Children Of An Endemic Community In Edo State, Nigeria
Onchocerciasis among 278 children (0-15yrs) of Ekpan village, a hyperendemic community in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria was investigated using the prevalence of nodules as index. The overall prevalence of palpable nodules was 26.3%. Nodule prevalence increased with age and the association was found to be statistically significant (P<0.001). More males than females presented with onchocercal nodules; and the difference was also found to be statistically significant (P<0.05). Majority of the nodules found were located on the head, followed by the abdomen. Of the 186 children eligible to take ivermectin, only 124 (66.7%) actually took the drug. The efficacy of ivermectin against onchocerciasis is demonstrated in the observation that those who took the drug presented with fewer nodules. Therefore, a timely introduction of eligible children (>5yrs) to the treatment programme is advocated.
Keywords: Onchocerciasis, children, Nigeria, nodules, prevalence, ivermectin
African Journal of Clinical and Experimental Microbiology Vol. 9 (2) 2008 pp. 97-102