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Friday, March 22, 2019

Everything You Need To Know About Leprosy In Nigeria

Facts About Leprosy Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment Options In Nigeria

leprosy in nigeria

Over the years, leprosy had been superstitiously termed as a course by the gods. Many even believed it is hereditary and infected person deserved no other place to live than in the wilderness.On this post, we shall go into details all you need to on facts about leprosy in Nigeria.







What Is Leprosy?

Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. Upon infection, the bacterium starts multiplying gradually and symptoms may take even up to a decade before it become visible.

Leprosy mostly affects the skin, peripheral nerves, upper respiratory tract and the eyes. Leprosy can affect people at any age or sex.

How Common Is Leprosy In Nigeria?

It is believed based on spycroc university findings that, not less than 10,000 cases of leprosy is been recorded annually in Nigeria. This is common among rural communities or those with poor nutrition and hygiene.

What Are The Likely Symptoms Of Leprosy In Nigeria?

leprosy in nigeria
Deformed Hand By Leprosy
image source: wikipedia
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), whenever you see the following signs/symptoms, you should suspect leprosy.


  • Numbness or itching of the hand/feet
  • Painless wounds or burns on the hand or feet.
  • Loss or decrease sensation in the patches
  • Weakness of the hand, feet or eyelids
  • Painful or tender nerves
  • Swelling or lumps in the face or earlobes
  • Darker or reddish patches for pale skinned people.
  • Light patches on the skin for dark skinned people.


How Is Leprosy Transmitted?

Leprosy can be contacted when the droplets from the mouth or nose of the infected person gets to another individual via the skin or nose. It is believed that most people are immune to leprosy.It is a disease predominantly common in poverty stricken environment where there is no proper hygiene.

The incubation period range from 9 months to 20 years.Types Of Leprosy. There are two major classification of leprosy. The difference between them depends on the number of poorly pigmented numb patches/lesions present. In the presence of maximum of 5, then it is paucibacillary and when it is above 5, it is multibacillary.

Diagnosis Of Leprosy

Leprosy can simply be identified by skin examination by experts.

What Are The Major Risk Factors Of Leprosy?

If you are not well nourished, you are at risk because leprosy is often believed to be disease of the poor; it is common among those who suffer from malnutrition and poverty.

How Can I Prevent Leprosy?

Leprosy vaccine is available though it can only be effective up to 40%, it is called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine. It is advisable to take two dose of this vaccine.Early detection is also vital because if left untreated, it could have irreparable physical damage on the body.

Unhygienic health practices that may expose you to the disease should be avoided.Avoid exposure with an infected person including their droplets.Infected persons should be treated by an expect in isolation as soon as possible in order to curtail the widespread of the disease.

What Are The Available Leprosy Treatment Options In Nigeria?

Leprosy can be treated with antibiotics. The most effective treatment used in treating leprosy is multi-drug therapy (MDT). It can be cured within 12 month after using different combinations of multi drug therapy as directed by your medical doctor.Antibiotics can help prevent the growth and spread of the bacterial and in some cases, it kills it completely.

Steroids on the hand helps in reducing inflammation and build up of tissue growth and repair the damaging effect of the bacterial by stimulating the hormone effect that help aid this process. Patients who are treated can totally be cured.

Note:

Early treatment is mandatory to prevent chronic complications and irreversible physical damage to the body. Always consult your doctor for medical advice.


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