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Lymphatic filariasis morbidity mapping: a comprehensive examination of lymphoedema burden in Chikwawa district, Malawi

Smith, Emma, Mkwanda, S. Z., Martindale, Sarah, Kelly-Hope, Louise ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3330-7629 and Stanton, Michelle ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1754-4894 (2014) 'Lymphatic filariasis morbidity mapping: a comprehensive examination of lymphoedema burden in Chikwawa district, Malawi'. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol 108, Issue 12, pp. 751-758.

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Abstract

Background
Managing lymphatic filariasis (LF) morbidity and reducing disability is one of the two primary goals of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis. However, in order to achieve this, the geographical distribution of LF morbidity needs to be better estimated.

Methods
All cases of lymphoedema within a single health centre catchment area (pop. 42 000) in the southern region of Malawi were examined. Maps of lymphoedema burden were produced and trends in patient demographics, severity of lymphoedema (Dreyer staging) and health-seeking behaviour were explored. The number of lymphoedema cases was compared with records maintained by the Ministry of Health, Malawi.

Results
A total of 69 lymphoedema cases were identified (32 per 10 000 population), of which 48 (70%) were female and 21 (30%) male. The majority of cases (51/69) had Dreyer stage 2–3, and almost all (65/69) had experienced acute attacks as a result of their lymphoedema. This burden was much greater than that estimated by Ministry of Health (33 cases).

Conclusions
Current case detection methods underestimate the burden of lymphoedema in Malawi. There is a continued need to develop new LF morbidity identification and surveillance approaches to ensure that future morbidity management strategies are effectively targeted.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 110 Prevention and control of communicable diseases. Transmission of infectious diseases
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 546 Local Health Administration. Community Health Services
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 880 Filariasis and related conditions (General)
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1093/trstmh/tru150
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2015 11:03
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:08
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/4789

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