Socioeconomic burden of lymphatic filariasis in Georgetown, Guyana
To assess the socioeconomic impact of lymphatic filariasis (LF) in Guyana.
Observational, cross‐sectional study of 50 persons with chronic LF attending the Filariasis Clinic who were selected as the cases; and 50 persons with chronic skin conditions but no chronic LF, attending the Skin Clinic who were selected as the controls. The two groups were assessed using semi‐structured interviews.
Socioeconomic impact was statistically significant, especially with respect to ‘having to change jobs’ and experiencing major emotional and financial changes (P < 0.05). Fifty‐six per cent of cases reported a major change since their diagnosis, whereas only 32% of controls did. Cases were less likely to be able to dress themselves and walk inside and outside the house than controls; they were three times more likely to spend money on transportation than controls (OR, 3.04 95% CI 1.11, 8.44).
Patients with chronic LF face a considerable burden, which should be addressed as part of the Elimination Programme. One way in which this can be done is to provide free transportation for patients with chronic LF to and from Filariasis Clinics.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 2013