Orient Journal of Medicine

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Clinical Profile Of Hansen's Disease Patients In The Multidrug Therapy Era At The Unth, Enugu

EN Nnoruka


Background: Leprosy continues to be one of the major public health problems in many countries including Nigeria. It is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium Leprae. After the commencement of the multi drug therapy (MDT) era and its accompanying anti-leprosy measures in Nigeria [through the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP)], leprosy patients attending the Skin clinic of University of Nigeria Teaching hospital, Enugu, were assessed over a five year period (1997-2001).

Objective: The aim of the study was to document the current profile of Hansen's disease in a tertiary hospital setting in this MDT era.

Results: Four hundred and nineteen patients had leprosy and 271(64.7%) benefited from MDT: 21(5.1%) were children and 390 (94.8%) adults. The patients were aged between 5-81 years, with a female preponderance of 248 (60.3%). Main findings were prevalence of 3.9% for leprosy with new case detection rate ranging from 0.4 in 1997 to 0.73 in 2001.

New cases presented more regularly to the skin clinic since 2000 (p<0.05). Observed clinical patterns were paucibacillary leprosy 61.3% and multibacillary leprosy 38.7%. Solitary skin lesions were seen in 21.4%, primary neurotic leprosy in 8.3%, atypical forms (such as vitiligo in leprosy) in 17.1%, reactions in13.7%, leprosy in association with AIDs in 5.6%, disabilities in 19.1% and relapses in 3.8% of the cases. Distribution of vitiligo were multiple, extensive and occurred at sites entirely different from its occurrence in patients without leprosy.

Conclusion: Although the NTBL control generated a lot of awareness and positive impact on leprosy control within communities around Enugu, early diagnosis of leprosy is still problematic. The spectrum of the disease is still wide in Nigeria.

Key Words: Leprosy, clinical profile, MDT (Multi Drug Therapy) Era, Nigeria

Orient Journal of Medicine Vol.15(3&4) 2003: 12-18

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