Community-based survey of podoconiosis in Bedele Zuria woreda, west Ethiopia

Tekola Ayele, Fasil, Alemu, Getahun, Davey, Gail and Ahrens, Christel (2013) Community-based survey of podoconiosis in Bedele Zuria woreda, west Ethiopia. International health, 5 (2). pp. 119-125. ISSN 1876-3413

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Podoconiosis is a neglected tropical disease resulting in progressive bilateral swelling of the lower legs in barefoot individuals exposed to red-clay soil derived from volcanic rocks. It is a considerable public health problem in countries across tropical Africa, Central America and northern India. The present study aimed to assess the prevalence and clinical features of podoconiosis, and patients' experience of disease prevention and treatment, in Bedele Zuria woreda (district), west Ethiopia.


The study was conducted during 2011 and involved a house-to-house survey in all 2285 households of five randomly selected rural kebeles (villages).


The prevalence of podoconiosis was 5.6% (379/6710) (95% CI 5.1-6.2%) and was significantly greater among women than men (6.6% vs 4.7%; p = 0.001). A total of 311 (16.9%) households had at least one member with podoconiosis, and 128 (33.8%) study participants reported having a blood relative with podoconiosis. Two hundred and forty-three (76.4%) podoconiosis patients were in the economically productive age group of 15-64 years. On average, a patient experienced at least six episodes of adenolymphangitis per year resulting in a loss of 25 working days per year.


This study has revealed a high burden of podoconiosis in west Ethiopia, and suggests that disease prevention and treatment programmes are needed.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA0648.5 Epidemics. Epidemiology. Quarantine. Disinfection
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0251 Constitutional diseases (General)
Depositing User: Gail Davey
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2014 12:35
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 18:48

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