PREVALENCE AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF LEPROSY IN NIGERIA: CASE STUDY OF OBUBRA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF CROSS RIVER STATE
Background and Objective: The rise of global public health emergency on account of leprosy incidents are steadily affecting individual incomes and collective economic viability of sufferers and their communities. The impact of this health challenge on the socio-economic balance is significant and hence this study is intended to find the nexus between the disease and the earning potential of the citizens under such endemicity and the extended health burden it possess on national medical infrastructure. Materials and Methods: This investigative study was conducted at health facilities located at Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State of Nigeria, hospital using recorded cases, direct interviews as well as responses to structured questionnaires. Results: Findings of the study show that residents of the area under investigation who are low income earners are at a higher risk of exposure to leprosy attacks and as such constitute a large catchment of the prevalence population. Conclusion: The Multiple Drug Therapy (MDT) measure has shown to be effective at leprosy treatment and reduction of individual and national economic impact. Thus, the prevalence indicate that national productivity is impacted on, and income is reduced significantly. Consequently, the decline in income with a corresponding rise in the rate of infection also led to a decline in the agricultural productivity of 10 (5.7%); as well as the number of days spent fishing 6 (6.3%). The factors responsible for the variance in the prevalence of leprosy as well as its socio-economic impact are significant and account for the recommendations of the study.
Keywords: Leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae, Multibacillary, Paucibacillary, Prevalence, Socio-economy.
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