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1.
BMJ Open ; 11(8): e046125, 2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376488

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Leprosy, or Hansen's disease, remains a cause of preventable disability. Early detection, treatment and prevention are key to reducing transmission. Post-exposure prophylaxis with single-dose rifampicin (SDR-PEP) reduces the risk of developing leprosy when administered to screened contacts of patients. This has been adopted in the WHO leprosy guidelines. The PEP4LEP study aims to determine the most effective and feasible method of screening people at risk of developing leprosy and administering chemoprophylaxis to contribute to interrupting transmission. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: PEP4LEP is a cluster-randomised implementation trial comparing two interventions of integrated skin screening combined with SDR-PEP distribution to contacts of patients with leprosy in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania. One intervention is community-based, using skin camps to screen approximately 100 community contacts per leprosy patient, and to administer SDR-PEP when eligible. The other intervention is health centre-based, inviting household contacts of leprosy patients to be screened in a local health centre and subsequently receive SDR-PEP when eligible. The mobile health (mHealth) tool SkinApp will support health workers' capacity in integrated skin screening. The effectiveness of both interventions will be compared by assessing the rate of patients with leprosy detected and case detection delay in months, as well as feasibility in terms of cost-effectiveness and acceptability. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was obtained from the national ethical committees of Ethiopia (MoSHE), Mozambique (CNBS) and Tanzania (NIMR/MoHCDEC). Study results will be published open access in peer-reviewed journals, providing evidence for the implementation of innovative leprosy screening methods and chemoprophylaxis to policymakers. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NL7294 (NTR7503).


Subject(s)
Leprosy , Ethiopia , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Leprosy/diagnosis , Leprosy/drug therapy , Leprosy/prevention & control , Mozambique , Tanzania
2.
Int J Dermatol ; 60(8): 1003-1006, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280318

ABSTRACT

This study analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the detection of new cases of leprosy in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The periods January-September 2019 and January-September 2020 were compared. There was a 44.40% reduction in the diagnosis of leprosy when comparing the two periods (1,705 in 2019 and 948 in 2020). There was a reduction in the number of municipalities with reported cases: 251 municipalities in 2019 and 202 in 2020, expressing a reduction of 24.25%. Considering only the months following the arrival of the virus (April-September), the reduction was 51.10%. An inverse correlation was observed between the number of new cases of leprosy and the cumulative number of cases of COVID-19 (Spearman's correlation coefficient = -0.840; P < 0.001) and the number of new monthly cases of COVID-19 (Spearman's correlation coefficient = -0.817; P < 0.001). A slight increase was also observed in the proportion of multibacillary cases in the state (70.38% in 2019 and 72.69% in 2020) as well as in the proportion of individuals with the degree of physical disability not assessed at diagnosis, whose proportion rose from 16.39% in 2019 to 22.53% in 2020. The negative impact of COVID-19 in tackling leprosy should be seen as a warning sign for health and political authorities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Leprosy , Brazil/epidemiology , Endemic Diseases , Humans , Leprosy/diagnosis , Leprosy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(12): 1456-1461, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254842

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to governments implementing a variety of public health measures to control transmission and has affected health services. Leprosy is a communicable neglected tropical disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae and is an important health problem in low- and middle-income countries. The natural history of leprosy means that affected individuals need long-term follow-up. The measures recommended to reduce transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can create barriers to health services. We evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic response on leprosy services and disease management. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional online survey with healthcare professionals in leprosy referral centres. RESULTS: Eighty percent of leprosy diagnostic services were reduced. All respondents reported that multidrug therapy (MDT) was available but two reported a reduced stock. Clinicians used alternative strategies such as telephone consultations to maintain contact with patients. However, patients were not able to travel to the referral centres. DISCUSSION: This study highlights the effects of the initial phase of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on leprosy services in a range of leprosy-endemic countries. Many services remained open, providing leprosy diagnosis, MDT and leprosy reaction medications. Centres developed innovative measures to counter the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Leprosy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Drug Therapy, Combination , Humans , Leprostatic Agents , Leprosy/diagnosis , Leprosy/drug therapy , Leprosy/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 14(10): e0008819, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-958088
6.
Dermatol Ther ; 33(6): e14052, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-670820
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