Neurological Disease Burden in two Semi-urban Communities in South East Nigeria
BACKGROUND: Neurological disorders are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Urban hospital -based studies give some perspectives on the burden of neurological disease but there are no community- based studies from South East Nigeria.
AIM: This study sought to screen for the scope and pattern of neurological dysfunction affecting inhabitants of two semi-urban communities in Enugu, South East Nigeria.
METHODS: A descriptive, cross- sectional, questionnaire- based study of inhabitants living in Alfred Camp and Udi Siding communities in Enugu was carried out in March 2008. Using a structured questionnaire, house- to- house interview of the residents was conducted by doctors trained for this purpose. Residents' knowledge and experience of clinical features that suggest neurological dysfunction were ascertained. Informed consent was obtained and ethical approval obtained from the Ethics Committee of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu. Data obtained was analyzed using SPSS version 13.5.
RESULTS: Completed questionnaires were 239 in number. There were 138 males and 101 females with age range of 18 -75 years. Most respondents, 127 (53.1%), were aged 21 -30 years. Pain syndromes were most common with headache, low back pain and neuropathic pain accounting for the top 3 neurological disorders.
CONCLUSION: This study has suggested that pain syndromes affect large numbers of people ordinarily resident in semi-urban communities in Enugu, South East Nigeria. These syndromes have an effect on quality of life. There is need for further large scale studies as well as increased public health strategies for addressing neurological diseases including pain disorders.
KEY WORDS: burden; neurological disease; Nigerian communities