ASSESSMENT OF ONCHOCERCIASIS AND COMMUNITY TREATMENT-SEEKING BEHAVIOUR AFTER TWO DECADES OF IVERMECTIN ADMINISTRATION IN USHONGO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Ali E. A.*, Iboyi, M. O. and Amuta, E. U.
Computer simulations have suggested that repeated Ivermectin treatment could suppress and subsequently interrupt transmission and has since been the main operational drug for the treatment and control of Onchocerciasis. In this study, the impact of Ivermectin on the prevalence of Clinical Onchocerciasis after two decades of mass drug administration was assessed. About 1014 Participants from 5 communities in Ushongo Local Government Area, who had received various rounds of Ivermectin were examined for Onchocercal depigmentation (Leopard skin), Onchodermatitis (Itching/Pruritis) and palpable nodules while ocular examination was carried out with illiterate e-chat and counting raised fingers at varying distances. Out of the 1014 volunteers, 219(21.6%) showed various symptoms of Onchocerciasis. A significant difference was observed (χ2 = 45.33, p < 0.05) in the prevalence of Clinical Onchocerciasis between the 5 communities. Farmers were the occupation most infected with 129(58.9%), Participants of age group ≥60 years were the most infected 22(47.7%), while the 11-20 years old were the least infected 18(11.7%). There was a significant difference between the prevalence of infection within the age groups (χ2 = 67.25, p < 0.05). 185 (84.5%) showed evidence of visual impairment, 170(79.8%) had Itching/Pruritis, 107(48.9%) had depigmentation /LS, 32(14.6%) had Onchocercal blindness and 59(26.9%) had Palpable nodules. Results obtained showed that there are significant reduction in the disease prevalence when compared to the REMO data prevalence of 48.58% after 20 years of Ivermectin chemotherapy. Ivermectin therefore remains an effective tool for the control of Onchocerciasis.
Keywords: Assessment, Ivermectin, Administration, Onchocerciasis, Community Treatment-seeking Behaviour, Ushongo.
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