Publisher: University of Calabar Teaching Hospital

Profile of Childhood Leprosy In South Eastern Nigeria

E. J. Peters, J. U. Ekott, E. E. Philip Ephraim, V. O. Ansa
KEYWORDS: Leprosy, Children and Southeast Nigeria

ABSTRACT:

A ten-year review of children 0-15 years who presented at Leprosy Hospital Ekpene Obom in Southeastern Nigeria was carried out to determine the profile of Childhood Leprosy. A total of 288 children, 187 males (64%) and 101 (35.1%) females formed subjects for the study. They were part of the 2597 leprosy patients seen at the centre over the study period. Thus 11.1% of the cases reviewed presented with leprosy in childhood. Lepromatous leprosy accounted for the 81.9% of the cases while tuberculoid leprosy was found in 18.1%. Sixty-four percent of the children had a positive history of family contact and 14-25% of them had various forms of deformity at presentation. We conclude that childhood leprosy is still a significant health problem in Nigeria and lepromatous leprosy is not as rare in childhood as previously reported. The role of health education, contact tracing and prompt treatment cannot be over-emphasized. Prospective studies in various parts of thecountry are thus necessary to ascertain the true magnitude ofthe problem.   


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