Functional impairment caused by lymphatic filariasis in rural areas of South India
The functional impairment caused by lymphatic filariasis was assessed through qualitative and quantitative methods in rural areas of Tamil Nadu, South India. About 66% of the patients said that their occupational activities were hampered by the disease. They either work fewer hours or alter their activity. Some had completely given up their job. Domestic chores of most of the female patients were also impeded. Most of those affected try to avoid travel. The disability was worse in patients with acute disease. In view of the results of our and other similar studies, the disability-adjusted life years lost due to lymphatic filariasis must be revised and the public health importance of the disease reassessed. Considerable functional impairment coupled with recent information on economic burden and productivity loss caused by lymphatic filariasis necessitates paying more attention to the control of the disease.