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Gender and ethnic differences in onchocercal skin disease in Oyo State, Nigeria

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During preparation for a study on the effects of ivermectin treatment on onchocercal skin disease in the Ifeloju Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria, 1032 adults aged20 years and older were examined for skin lesions and palpable nodules. It was found thatfor 4 types of skin lesions, acute papular onchodermatitis (APOD), chronic papular onchodermatitis (CPOD), lichenified onchodermatitis (LOD) and depigmentation (leopard skin), as well as for subcutaneous nodules, females had a significantly higher prevalence than males. Although the area is inhabited primarily by the Yoruba people, the study also included some of the cattle‐herding Fulani ethnic group. The reactive skin lesions, APOD, CPOD and LOD, were found to be more common among the Fulani, although there were no significant differences in leopard skin and nodules between both groups. While there is need for further research on both immunological and behavioural factors that may lead to these differences in disease. The need to achieve equity in health programming by ensuring that women and ethnic minorities receive full disease control services is of more immediate concern.
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Keywords: Nigeria; ethnicity; gender; ivermectin; onchocercal skin disease

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: African Regional Health Education Centre, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 2: Ibarapa Community and Primary Health Care Programme, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 3: Department of Preventive & Social Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Publication date: 1997-06-01

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