Ethiopian Journal of Biological Sciences

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An overview of neglected tropical diseases in Ethiopia

B Erko, Y Ye-Ebiyo, A Seyoum, H Desta, A Teklehaymanot


ABSTRACT: This review presents an overview of the neglected tropical
diseases, the magnitude of the problem and the status of intervention in
Ethiopia. Furthermore, the review attempts to identify gaps in information
and the way forward. Thirteen poverty-promoting diseases have recently
been designated as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). These diseases
include visceral leishmaniasis (VL), human African trypanosomiasis (HAT),
Chagas disease, hookworm infection, ascariasis, trichuriasis, lymphatic
filariasis, onchocerciasis, drancunculiasis, schistosomiasis, trachoma, leprosy (Hansen's disease), and Buruli ulcer. Except for Chaga's disease, all other officially designated NTDs occur in Ethiopia, with varying magnitude. Soiltransmitted helminthiasis (STHs) and schistosomiasis, the profiles of which have superficially been considered elsewhere, are the most prevalent and yet neglected diseases in Ethiopia. Leprosy, trachoma, onchocerciasis and dracunculiasis have drawn attention from the Ministry of Health and its partners, as well as their control is also on track. The Malaria and Other Vector-Borne Diseases Prevention and Control Team, in collaboration with other partners, has developed diagnosis and treatment guideline for VL to establish the control program. The distribution of Bancroftian filariasis is also being mapped to move towards institution of intervention. Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) which used to be endemic in the southwestern parts of the country has not recently been reported from the same foci, perhaps due to dramatic ecological changes. Buruli ulcer is the other neglected tropical disease, only two cases of which have recently been reported in Ethiopia. Pediculosis, tungiasis and non-parasitic conditions such as podoconiosis and goiter are also presented as neglected diseases of public and socioeconomic
importance in Ethiopi.
AJOL African Journals Online