Proceedings of 1st Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme Scientific conference (Accra, 2017)

Oral presentation

Leprosy case investigation - Limpopo province, South Africa, December 2016

Cite this: Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. Oct 2017; 3(3): 86. doi:10.11604/pamj.cp.2017.3.86.230

Submitted: 10 Oct 17   Accepted: 10 Oct 17   Published: 27 Oct 17

Key words: Leprosy, case investigation, Limpopo Province of South Africa

© Khuliso Goodman Ravhuhali et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Available online at: http://www.proceedings.panafrican-med-journal.com/conferences/2017/3/86/abstract

Corresponding author: Khuliso Goodman Ravhuhali, South African Field Epidemiology Training Program, Ghana (khulisor@nicd.ac.za)

This abstract is published as part of the proceedings of 1st Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme Scientific conference (GHANA, )

Leprosy case investigation - Limpopo province, South Africa, December 2016

Khuliso Goodman Ravhuhali1,&, Ntsieni Ramalwa1, Carl Reddy1

 

1South African Field Epidemiology Training Program, Ghana

 

 

&Corresponding author
Khuliso Goodman Ravhuhali, South African Field Epidemiology Training Program, Ghana

 

 

Abstract

Introduction: leprosy remains an important public health problem globally. In Africa, 6 countries including Mozambique and Tanzania accounted for 14% of new cases reported globally in 2015. Prevalence in South Africa (SA) is below 1 per 10,000. On December 8, 2016, the Provincial Department of Health was notified of 2 confirmed leprosy patients. Case investigation was initiated to identify the source of infection, close contacts of the patients, and to follow contacts for any signs of leprosy.

 

Methods: we reviewed medical records and interviewed both patients. We conducted household visits were conducted to assess close contacts for any signs and symptoms of leprosy. A case of leprosy was any person who consulted at a tertiary hospital in Limpopo province in November 2016 having one or more of the following: hypo-pigmented or reddish skin lesion(s) with definitive loss of sensation on hands and feet; and positive skin-smear for acid-fast bacilli. A contact was defined as any person living in the same household of known leprosy patient.

 

Results: patient 1 was a newly diagnosed 50-year-old, HIV positive male with grade 1 disability. Patient was referred to the hospital after numerous incorrect diagnoses in the nearby clinic. He worked in Tanzania, Mauritius and Namibia since 2007. He started multidrug therapy (MDT) in November 2016. Patient 2 was a 29-year-old female with grade 0 disability. She lived in Mozambique for 17 years until her return to SA in 2011 when she began experiencing symptoms. She started MDT in December 2014, defaulted and reinitiated treatment in November 2016. A total of 24 contacts were reported, 18 were clinically examined and none showed signs of leprosy. Current patients were educated on treatment adherence and follow-up. Contacts were advised to report to hospital if experiencing similar symptoms.

 

Conclusion: the two reported patients are unrelated and both lived in leprosy endemic countries outside SA. Due to the long incubation period of leprosy and low prevalence in SA, we conclude that infection likely occurred outside SA. We recommended training of health workers in leprosy-specific skills to improve early diagnosis and treatment throughout SA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme Scientific conference (Accra)

Country: GHANA

Dates: 18 Sep 17 - 21 Sep 17

Venue: Swiss Spirit and Suites Alisa Hotels

Organizers: Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme

Secretariat: gfeltp@gmail.com

Contact person: Dr. Ernest Kenu (ernest_kenu@yahoo.com)