British Leprosy Relief Association
Characteristics and treatment outcomes of leprosy patients detected during a leprosy elimination campaign in Mozambique compared with routinely detected patients
C. Phaff et al.
Treatment outcomes in leprosy elimination campaigns
van den BroekJ.b
aRegional co-ordinator National Program for Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control in Northern Mozambique, representative Netherlands Leprosy Relief (NLR), Nampula, Mozambique
bConsultant Netherlands Leprosy Relief (NLR), Helmond, The Netherlands
cHead of the National Program for the Control of Leprosy and Tuberculosis, Ministry of Health, Maputo, Mozambique
dLeprosy assessor of the National Program for the Control of Leprosy and Tuberculosis, Ministry of Health, Maputo, Mozambique
eStudent, Faculty of Medicine, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Correspondence: C. Phaff (e-mail: email@example.com)
The objective of this study is to assess whether the case-finding method is a determinant for diagnostic characteristics and treatment outcome of newly diagnosed leprosy patients in Northern Mozambique. This is a retrospective cohort study of 3202 patients on the differences between entrance characteristics and treatment outcome in self-reporting patients and patients detected during a leprosy elimination campaign (LEC) in 1999 in Northern Mozambique. As a consequence of LEC activities, 3 times more patients were found compared with the same period 1 year earlier. After the LEC, case detection remained higher in the years 2000–2002 compared with the years preceding the LEC. More young (<15 years) paucibacillary (PB) cases were diagnosed during LEC activities with, surprisingly, equal percentage of disability grades. No gender imbalance was found in diagnosed LEC patients contrary to self-reporting patient groups. Comparing patients detected during a LEC in 1999 with the passive group of 1998 and 1999 showed a slight but statistically significant better treatment result for the passive group. The classification of leprosy (in favour of PB) and age (in favour of older age groups) were also determinants for favourable treatment outcomes. Volunteers had a significantly better result of treatment compared with trained nurses and regardless of detection method. LEC proved to be a useful addition to the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Programme in Northern Mozambique. As a result, many new cases were diagnosed and put on treatment and their treatment results were very satisfactory. LEC had a lasting impact on case finding. Volunteers make a valuable contribution to leprosy control in Mozambique because they have consistently better treatment results compared with nurses.