A prevalence survey on leprosy and the possible role of village 10-cell leaders in control in Muheza District, Tanzania

E. VAN PRAAG, S. A. MWANKEMWA
1982 Leprosy Review  
A total population of 15,029 people in 12 villages was screened for leprosy. The selection of the villages in 2 divisions of Muheza District was based on a proportional cluster sampling method. An overall prevalence estimate of 7.9 per 1,000 was fo und. Prevalence per village ranged from 0 to 25.8 per 1,000. The prevalence was related to age and sex and a strong male preponderance was found. The type of leprosy was determined and 55% were new cases. Community participation via village lO-cell
more » ... a village lO-cell leaders is assessed with regard to their ability to assist in leprosy control. Their use in promoting drug compliance of the patients and in diminishing the pool of as-yet unidentified and possibly infectious cases is discussed. Detection of leprosy patients by means of screening surveys in communities has always been laborious and difficult. Several fa ctors contribute to this. Low prevalence together with a dispersed rural population in a not-always-easily accessible terrain make such an exercise time consuming and laborious . This is aggravated by the fa ct that people affected by leprosy still tend to hide their disease and/or are stigmatized by their surrounding community and condemn ed to live at the outskirts of their village or completely outside their village . 1 Besides this, it has often been observed that in many areas leprosy patients are unevenly distributed between villages. This makes sampling of people in such areas for the determination of leprosy prevalence more difficult as the convenient approach of sample taking with a few large clusters will not give a 0305-751 8/82/053027 + 08 $01.00 © British Leprosy Relief Association * Ten-cell leader or balozi: a representative of c. 10 households, selected by the villages themselves and spokesman for them within the administrative party structure at village level.
doi:10.5935/0305-7518.19820005 fatcat:gblsxqvqjjdrnmt37vzmybjv2q