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Italian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology 2021 October;156(5):575-9

DOI: 10.23736/S2784-8671.20.06556-6

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Epidemiology of skin diseases in the Tigray region of Ethiopia

Paola MONARI 1, Simone CARAVELLO 1 , Francesca DI TULLIO 2, Cesare TOMASI 1, Hailay GIDEY 3, Kidsew TSEGA 3, Giovanni PELLACANI 2, Giulio GUALDI 4, Fabio FACCHETTI 1, Piergiacomo CALZAVARA-PINTON 1, Aldo MORRONE 5

1 Department of Dermatology, Spedali Civili di Brescia, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy; 2 Department of Dermatology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 3 Department of Dermopathology, Axum University Comprehensive Specialized Hospital (Aku CSH), Axum, Ethiopia; 4 Dermatologic Clinic, Department of Medicine and Aging Science, G. D’Annunzio University, Chieti, Chieti-Pescara, Italy; 5 San Gallicano Dermatological Institute IRCCS, Rome, Italy



BACKGROUND: Skin diseases are very common among people living in poor countries. Although many of these pathologies might not be fatal, some can have a great impact on the patient, impairing their ability to work or worsening his/her relationship with the community. Understanding the epidemiology of skin diseases in these areas, determining the prevalence of different disorders, is fundamental to develop better educational and preventative programs.
METHODS: We collected data from 467 consecutive patients referring to the Dermatology Center of the Axum Referral Hospital (Tigray region, Ethiopia). We investigated health status and environmental data. Diagnoses were classified into 6 groups (i.e. infectious, inflammatory, etc.). A statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS™ software version 25.0.1 (IBM SPSS Inc. Chicago, Illinois) and Stata™ software release 14.2 (Stata Corporation, College Station, Texas). Normality of the distributions was assessed using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. Categorical variables are compared with the use of the Chi Square test or the Fisher’s exact test, as appropriate.
RESULTS: Inflammatory and infectious diseases were the most frequently observed. No significant differences in inferential tests between access to water, housing, education level, and any diagnoses group were found. Curiously, a statistically significant difference between inflammatory diseases and unemployment was found.
CONCLUSIONS: Easier access to medical care, medications, and clean water, together with a cleaner work and home environment, are the first goals to be achieved in order to decrease morbidity in these areas.


KEY WORDS: Ethiopia; Human migration; Skin diseases

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