Identification of the Etiology of Elephantiasis in Midakegn District, Western Shoa Zone, Oromiya Region

Oli, Geleta Geshere (2009) Identification of the Etiology of Elephantiasis in Midakegn District, Western Shoa Zone, Oromiya Region. Masters thesis, Addis Ababa University.

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Elephantiasis is mainly caused by blockage of lymphatic channels by lymphatic filarial parasites or by soil borne minerals (Silica, Aluminum, etc.) derived from volcanic rocks that enter through the skin of the barefooted persons who work on farms. Endemic non-filarial elephantiasis is a major public health problem in countries of tropical Africa, Central America, and North India. The present study attempted to determine the etiology of elephantiasis in two kebeles (Ganbella and Tullu Eteya) of the Midakegni district, West Shoa Zone, Oromiya Region. The method used included physical and clinical examinations, blood film examination, serological diagnosis, and interviews. Physical observations were made on 1656 residents of age >14, 914 were from Ganbella and 742 from Tullu Eteya kebeles. From this population, 123 persons were positive for elephantiasis of the lower legs, of which 67(4.04%) males and 56 (3.38%) females (age range 14 to 70 years). Therefore, based on the local population census the prevalence of elephantiasis in the area was estimated to be 7.42 %. From the elephantiasis positive study participants about 49 % were also selected randomly for further serological diagnosis. From which the highest prevalence (78%) is among the most economically productive age group (21 – 60 years old). However, clinical examination of participants with elephantiasis showed no hydrocele or scrotal swelling, which is suggestive of a lymphatic filarial etiology. Furthermore, the parasitological diagnosis of blood collected from patients with elephantiasis between 10 A.M. and 2 A.M. and serological diagnosis by using immunochromatographic test (ICT) kit for filarial antigens in the blood samples were all negative. This makes it unlikely that the etiology of elephantiasis in the present study area was lymphatic filarial parasites. On the other hand, the house-to-house survey revealed a strong association between being bare footed and having elephantiod swelling of the feet and legs. This association, together with the red clay soil of the area, which is typically associated with podoconoisis in other parts of the country and globally, suggests the etiology of the elephantiasis to be soil derived mineral particles in the present study area. The study has also shown the importance of footware in the prevention of non-filarial elephantiasis. Further study will be required to assess the economic impact of the disease in the Midakegni district, as the disease is mainly affecting economically productive age groups in the area.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Elephantiasis, Etiology, Immunochromatographic test, House-to-house survey, Podoconiosis
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: Selom Ghislain
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2018 08:21
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2018 08:21

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