The Prevalence of Filariasis in Awi, Akamkpa Local Government Area of Cross River State-Nigeria.

  • S.S Akpan Department of Microbiology and Parasitology University of Calabar Teaching Hospital P.M.B 1278, Calabar-Nigeria
  • G.C Ejezie Department of Microbiology and Parasitology College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar P.M.B. 1115, Calabar-Nigeria.

Abstract

The prevalence of Filariasis in Awi, Akamkpa Local Government Area, was studied among 303 residents of the community between July 2000 and June 2001. Venous blood specimens collected from the residents after a Mazzotti test, were examined using standard parasitological techniques for the presence of microfilariae. A questionnaire, which set out to test the perception and rapid epidemiological assessment of Filariasis in the area was administered to the study population. The overall prevalence rate for filaraemia was 25.7%. Two species of microfilariae, viz Mansonella perstans and Loa loa were detected, with prevalence rates of 96.2% and 3.8% respectively. Filaraemia was higher in males 33.9% (61:180) than in females 13.8% (17:123). However the difference was not statistically significant (x2 =0.75 <6.64; P>0.01). Only 41(13.5%) of the respondents knew of Filariasis as a parasitic disease, but none of them had knowledge of the causative agents and the insect vectors involved in the transmission of the disease. A total 495 female Culicoides (midges), 800 anopheline and 1772 culicine mosquitoes where caught and dissected for the third stage lava of filarial worms. The disease transmission occurred through out the year with an abundance of Culicoides (midges) recorded in June, when the peak transmission of Filariasis (mansonelliasis) also occurred. Although the pathogenicity of Mansonella perstans is still doubtful, the presence of Loa loa in Awi makes the community epidemiologically important as a focus for the spread of infection to Calabar. Treatment of properly diagnosed cases, medical education, provision of insecticide, treated bed net and improved housing will help to curtail the transmission of Filariasis in the area.

Key Words: Filariasis, Prevalence, Mansonelliasis, Loiasis.

[Mary Slessor Jnl of Medicine Vol.3(1) 2003: 75-80]
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eISSN: 1119-409X
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