Although the true burden and the factors responsible for Buruli ulcer (BU) occurrence in Nigeria is not yet known, the disease has become an issue of great concern in some parts of the country, especially in Anambra State. It is against this background that this study analyzed the prevalence of BU in Anambra North with the objectives of determining the hotspots, trends and factors influencing the occurrence of the disease in the study area. Three LGAs and fifteen communities were selected based on purposive sampling in which 400 copies of questionnaire were randomly distributed. Field survey, topographic map of the study area, administrative map of the study area, Global Position System (GPS) and Google earth satellite images were the materials and methods used for the study. The analysis was done using ArcGIS 10.1 and Excel software packages. The results show a variation in the temporal distribution of the disease. The trend analysis revealed that the months of February and May recorded the highest number of cases of BU (17.2%) and (15.6%), respectively while the months of September and October recorded no case of the disease. The study also discovered five significant hotspots of BU at 95% confidence level using the Getis-Ord G* tool. The hotspots of BU in the study area include Omor (p-value: 0.0119), Umumbo (0.0119), Igbakwu (p-value: 0.0119), Anaku (p-value: 0.0197) and Umuerum (p-value: 0.0197). On the factors influencing BU occurrence in the study area, cultural practices, farming/fishing on swampy lands, swimming in rivers and living close to stagnant bodies of water were identified as risk factors of BU occurrence in the study area. The bivariate analysis of BU factors revealed that cultural practices pose the highest risk of BU occurrence with a percentage increase in risk of 846% while wearing of protective gadgets reduces the risk of the disease with a percentage decrease in risk of 20%. More so, the study showed that the disease has negative effects on the feeding habit and employment of majority (76.6%) and (78.1%) respectively of the affected persons. The study therefore concludes by recommending that people should be discouraged from activities around the ox-bow lakes such as swimming and dipping legs in pond waters.
Ifeanyi Franklin Ike, Adamu Kibon Usman and Sadique A Yelwa
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