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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-22

A technical report on the introduction of the mycobacterium leprae flow test for leprosy control: A pilot project in Jigawa State, Nigeria

1 Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Netherlands Leprosy Relief, Jos, Nigeria
3 K.I.T.(Royal Tropical Institute),Biomedical Research Amsterdam, Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
O I Aina
Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: In Nigeria, leprosy still remains a condition that attracts attention, both by the government of the country, and particularly so by the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), due to its disabling and disfiguring consequences. Thus given the difficulties that control programs are often faced with, leprosy still remains a public health problem in Nigeria. Method: The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) Biomedical Research developed the mycobacterium leprae (ML) flow test and evaluated its performance on standard sets of serum and blood samples. Databases and forms for data collection and evaluation were developed and health centres and workers were selected for participation in the project. They were trained in the use of the ML flow and the ML flow test was then used for 18 months as part of routine leprosy control activities in the selected health centres. Results: A total of 186 patients and 529 contacts were tested with the ML flow test in 28 health facilities located in 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Jigawa State. Thirty four health workers participated in the anthropological study. There were 117(62.9%) patients found positive with the ML flow test. Conclusion: Despite that the ML flow test currently makes no sizeable contribution to the classification of leprosy patients in Jigawa State, it was still felt that the test could make a contribution in contact tracing and in classification, if the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of multibacillary (MB) would be followed.

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