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Ann Afr Med. 2019 Jan-Mar;18(1):7-11. doi: 10.4103/aam.aam_162_16.

Plantar ulcer occurrence among leprosy patients in Northern Nigeria: A study of contributing factors.

Author information

National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Training Center, Zaria Kaduna, Nigeria.
National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria.
Netherlands Leprosy Relief, Tador House Rayfield Jos, Nigeira.


in English, French


The study was conducted in three major leprosy referral hospitals in Northern Nigeria, which are NKST Rehabilitation Hospital, Benue State, Yadakunya Leprosy Hospital, Kano, and National Tuberculosis/Leprosy Training Hospital, Zaria. The main objective of the study was to investigate factors responsible for the occurrence of ulcers among leprosy patients reporting to the leprosy referral hospitals.

Materials and Methods:

An analytic study of case-control design was used, with patients having plantar ulcers as cases and those without as control. Semi-structured was administered to all cases and controls.


A total of 242 patients were studied; 124 patients (51.2%) had plantar ulcers whereas 118 (48.8%) had no ulcers (controls). A Chi-square test was used in the analysis to compare cases and controls. The study found differences between cases and controls with respect to patients release from treatment (RFT), gender, availability and utilization of footwear, age, occupation, and educational status. Footwears were provided to most patients, i.e. 60.8% late (i.e., after developing plantar ulcers); however, there was very good utilization of the footwears among those who had the footwears, 65.3%. Knowledge of self-care was higher among 64.5% of cases compared to only 28.1% of the controls.


Ulcer still remains a major problem among leprosy patients, especially RFT (76.6%) and most cases are provided with footwear late. Self-care knowledge is higher among cases than controls.


Footwear; leprosy ulcers; plantar ulcers

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