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Trop Doct. 2003 Oct;33(4):217-20.

Prevalence of podoconiosis (endemic non-filarial elephantiasis) in Wolaitta, Southern Ethiopia.

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Mossy Foot Association, PO Box 251, Wolaitta Soddo, Ethiopia.


The survey was undertaken to establish the point prevalence of overt podoconiosis (endemic non-filarial elephantiasis) in Wolaitta zone, Southern Ethiopia, and also to determine whether age- or sex-related prevalence differences exist. A cross-sectional survey was performed during May-September 2001 among 33 678 residents of 4210 households randomly selected from all seven woredas (administrative districts) of Wolaitta zone. Trained data collectors administered a simple questionnaire and examined household residents for signs of podoconiosis. Of the residents 1890 had overt signs of podoconiosis. The mean zonal prevalence weighted for the woreda size was 5.46%. Most of cases (64%) occurred in the economically productive age groups (16-45 years). The male:female ratio was 1:0.98, reflecting the gender ratio of the zone. Podoconiosis is an important chronic public health problem affecting both men and women in areas of irritant soil. Further research is necessary to establish the economic effects of the condition.

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