The impact of chronic lymphatic filariasis on labor inputs in the Niger delta, Nigeria
The loss of labor and work time in people affected by chronic lymphatic filariasis in six rural communities of the Niger Delta area of Southeastern Nigeria was investigated. The disability caused by this chronic disease resulted in partial loss of work. The mean (standard deviation) time that each of these chronic cases spent on economic activities were significantly less (P< 0.01) than that observed in the controls. Chronic lymphatic filariasis also affected time used for domestic activities, with the mean (SD) between chronic cases and controls being 2.62 (3.25) h/day (t = 6.62, P < 0.01). The difference in labor input was significantly lower in the female cases than in males both during rainy and dry seasons. It as observed that males with chronic filariasis lost 13.5% of the time they could have spent on economic activities (maximum, 7 hours), while affected females lost 10.3% (maximum 6 hours). The loss of labor and labor time coupled with the treatment cost and health burden in communities with poor health care system portray the need to properly prioritize the control/elimination of lymphatic filariasis in the study area.
Keywords: Chronic lymphatic filariasis; labor inputs; rural community; Niger Delta; Nigeria
International Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences Vol. 2 (3) 2006: pp. 246-249