Economic costs of endemic non-filarial elephantiasis in Wolaita Zone, Ethiopia

Tekola, Fasil, Mariam, Damen H and Davey, Gail (2006) Economic costs of endemic non-filarial elephantiasis in Wolaita Zone, Ethiopia. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 11 (7). pp. 1136-1344. ISSN 1360-2276

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Endemic non-filarial elephantiasis or podoconiosis is a chronic and debilitating geochemical disease occurring in individuals exposed to red clay soil derived from alkalic volcanic rock. It is a major public health problem in countries in tropical Africa, Central America and North India.


To estimate the direct and the average productivity cost attributable to podoconiosis, and to compare the average productivity time of podoconiosis patients with non-patients.


Matched comparative cross sectional survey involving 702 study subjects (patients and non-patients) supplemented by interviews with key informants in Wolaita Zone, southern Ethiopia.


Total direct costs of podoconiosis amounted to the equivalent of US$ 143 per patient per year. The total productivity loss for a patient amounted to 45% of the total working days per year, causing a monetary loss equivalent to US$ 63. In Wolaita zone, the overall cost of podoconiosis exceeds US$ 16 million per year.


Podoconiosis has enormous economic impact in affected areas. Simple preventive measures (such as use of robust footwear) must be promoted by health policy makers.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0001 Medicine and the state. Including medical statistics, medical economics, provisions for medical care, medical sociology
Depositing User: Gail Davey
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2014 13:25
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 18:50

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