Looking for NTDs in the skin; an entry door for offering patient centered holistic care.
INTRODUCTION: The majority of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) have established primary skin manifestations or associated clinical feature. Skin NTDs often result in physical impairment and disfigurement, which can lead to disability. Skin diseases have been proposed as an entry point for integrated NTDs control. However, the magnitude and overlap of skin NTDs is poorly understood.
METHODOLOGY: An institution-based cross-sectional study was done using medical records of dermatology patients between July 2017 and June 2018 in a dermatology service in Northeast Ethiopia. A total of 661 patient records were selected using simple random sampling.
RESULTS: A total of 656 complete records were included in analysis. Skin NTDs constituted 17.2% (n = 113) of the overall of skin diseases. Of skin NTDS, cutaneous leishmaniasis (n = 40; 35.4%), leprosy (n = 38; 33.6%), and scabies (n = 31; 27.4%) were the most common. Additionally, there were four cases of mycetoma. Of the non NTDs, poverty-related infections such as superficial fungal (n = 118; 21.1%) and bacterial (n = 33; 5.2%) infections were also frequent. Tinea capitis was the most common superficial fungal infections. Impetigo and cellulitis were the predominant bacterial infections.
CONCLUSIONS: Skin NTDsand other poverty related skin infections were common at the dermatology service. Dermatological services could act as a good entry point for integrated management of skin NTDs. Future studies should assess how different preventive strategies like contact tracing, early diagnosis and mass drug administration can be integrated.