Prevalence and management of filarial lymphoedema and its associated factors in Lindi district, Tanzania: A community‐based cross‐sectional study
To determine the burden and management of filarial lymphoedema and its associated factors in Lindi district, Tanzania.
Cross-sectional study involving 954 community members who were screened for filarial lymphoedema by using a checklist. Moreover, lymphoedema patients were examined for the presence of entry lesions, staging of disease, and interviewed on acute dermatolymphangioadenitis (ADLA) attacks, and their current practices on lymphoedema management. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses were performed. A p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
The prevalence of filarial lymphoedema was 7.8%, with the majority in the early stage of lymphoedema (78.4%). The large majority (98.6%) of the patients had lower limb lymphoedema and 46% of lymphoedema patients had entry lesions. More than a half (60.8%) of those lymphoedema patients had experienced ADLA attacks; close to two-thirds (64.8%) had one or two attacks in the past six months. Generally, patients had inappropriate hygiene care practices for filarial lymphoedema management. Inappropriate hygiene care practice for lymphoedema management was associated with an increased risk for the development of advance stage of lymphoedema (AOR= 7.379 95%, CI: 3.535-16.018, p = 0.04).
Though LF transmission has drastically declined, chronic manifestations of lymphoedema persist in Lindi district. The recommended disease management practices are deficient, which calls for a programmatic approach for mapping the burden of lymphoedema and implementing its management.