Prevalence of Disability and Associated Factors among Registered Leprosy Patients in All Africa Tb and Leprosy Rehabilitation and Training Centre (ALERT), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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Tigist Shumet
Meaza Demissie
Yonas Bekele


BACKGROUND: Delay in leprosy diagnosis and treatment causes disabilities due to nerve damage,immunological reactions and bacillary infiltration. Leprosy disability leads not only to physicaldysfunction and activity limitation but also disrupts social interaction of affected individuals by creatingstigma and discrimination. This study was aimed at assessing leprosy disability status in patientsregistered at All African TB and Leprosy Rehabilitation and Training Centre.METHODS: Medical records of leprosy patients registered from September 11, 2010 to September 10,2013 G.C were reviewed. Prevalence of disability calculated, bivariate and multiple logistic regressionswere used to determine crude and adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence interval.RESULTS: The overall prevalence of disability was found to be 65.9% from all categories of patients(40.2% Grade I and 25.7% Grade II). The Prevalence among the new category was 62.8% (39.1% Grade1 and 23.7% Grade 2). Those ageed above 30 years, with duration of symptoms 6-12 months and above24 months, with sensory loss, nerve damage and reversal reaction were more likely to develop disability.CONCLUSION: In this study the prevalence of disability, both Grade I and II, is very high. Disabilitywas associated with age, duration of symptom, sensory loss, signs of nerve damage and reversal reaction.These risk factors indicate the existence of delay in diagnosis and treatment of leprosy cases. Therefore,the national leprosy control program should investigate leprosy case detection and diagnosis system inthe country and work on improving early case detection and prevention of disability.

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Author Biographies

Tigist Shumet, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Continental Institute of Public Health

Meaza Demissie, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Continental Institute of Public Health

Yonas Bekele, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Armauer Hansen Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Department of Microbiology,

Tumor and Cell Biology